Support for Christianity
CHAPTER 73 The first commandment in the first classroom - explanation
 We do not need a long and wide voyage from here, for the next garden is before our very eyes. Look, at a moderate distance we are already greeted with endlessly stretched rows of trees, behind which we see an exceedingly large and equally splendid palace. This is already the garden in which we have to be, in which you will even meet those children whom the Lord has taken from you on the earth.
 But if you would recognize them at once, is certainly another question; for in the spirit, the children no longer resembles the physical traits of their earthly parents, but they only resemble the Lord to the extent of their receptive capacity for the loving-goodness and faithfulness from the Lord. Nevertheless, on certain occasions, they can also accept the earthly similarities which are bound in their souls, and thus make themselves known in form to those who have come here from the earth, and are not yet too much acquainted with the spiritual conditions.
 We shall not, however, spend any more time speaking about this, but rather to go straight into the garden, to convince ourselves of all that with our own spiritual eyes, which we would otherwise have to attain with the mouth here.
 We are already in the tree-rows or avenues, in which you have discovered the most beautiful flowery lanes, and also here and there children, walking gaily on it. Let us go in deeper, and we shall find ourselves, as soon as we are there, at the palace we have first seen.
 See, it is already standing in front of us, with a nearly indefinitely stretched length. Thousands times thousand windows are set in rows. Every one measures seven klafter high. Above the height of the windows, we find a smaller row of windows, which are placed exactly above each of the lower large windows.
 You say and ask, "But for the sake of the Lord, is this whole building, this immensely long palace, but a single hall? I say unto you, It is not, but is divided into twelve divisions. At the height where you see the second row of small windows, a splendid and wide gallery runs along the whole hall, from which gallery one can, without disturbing the students on the floor at all, overlook the twelve sections one by one, and convince oneself of what is in them. Now let us go in, that everything may be clear to you.
 Look, here we are at the entrance. But we do not need to go up to the gallery because we are to remain largely invisible to these little children. Only the teachers will be aware of us; but these are already told why we are here.
 Well, here we are already in the first room. What do you see in the middle of this great hall written on a white tablet placed on a column standing upright? you say: At the very top, the number 1, which is known to us, and which will surely be the number of the hall, and below: the path to the freedom of the spirit! That is, I tell you, not the number of the hall, but the first law of God by Moses.
 You ask, "What are the many children, whom are already looking quite mature, to do with the earthly law of Moses, which is considered to be for mortal, disbelieving people, but certainly not for children, who as pure spirits have long been convinced of the existence of the one God; since, as we have seen, this is shown to them at the very beginning of the first elementary lecture, as a vivid illustration, at every possible opportunity?
 My dear friends and brothers, the matter is quite different from what you think. But you also find something similar on the earth, where you can ask the children wherever you want, and you will find everywhere with them a truly living faith in a God. For none is more believing than a child, and yet there is surely no such mean parental couple to be found who would deny their children, at least in the beginning of their lives, to acknowledge a God, since every religion prescribes it, and the parents have to, at least from the moral point of view, allow their children to learn about and recognise it.
 Would not it also be believed that such children, taught by God, do not need any further instruction about God by this time? You must confess, and say: yes, every human do require such teaching till the end of his life; for it is only too easy for the first impressions of childhood to become blurred, and then are these people who have outgrown their children's shoes, as if they had never heard of God. I tell you: such a blurring is, of course, not easily possible here; but you must understand that these children, because of their early arrival, had no opportunity on earth to react on the freedom of their spirit, which is the actual motive for life. Therefore, this most important action for the life of the spirit, must be put into the fullest action here. So far, these children's spirits have been, to a certain extent, spiritual living machines. Here, however, they are concerned with becoming alive out of themselves, and therefore they must also learn all the commandments, and then test them in their own right, and learn how they themselves are living spiritual beings under a given law.
 And so here is the first commandment given, which is, "Thou shalt believe in one God, and never think that there is either no God, nor that there are two, three, or several gods."
 Here, of course, we ask ourselves again: how can one command a believing of a God who believes in God anyway, and has no doubt about it? This is indeed a good remark; but the children are here subjected to all sorts of doctrines and customs by their teachers, in which they are afflicted by all sorts of doubts about the existence of God; this mode of instruction is called the desolation of one's own spirit.
 But in order to do this with these children, the teachers not infrequently make the most remarkable things happen as if coincidental before the students' eyes, let them have a look at it, and then ask them whether God was needed for this, since they have not seen Him acting. If the children say that God can do this only through His will, without necessarily have to be present, then the teachers let their students themselves think of different things, and whatever is thought by the children, would appear immediately before them. Then the teachers would again ask the children: who has done this?
 Thereby several are brought into the twilight. Some say that they themselves have done this, others think that the teachers have done it according to the recognition of the thoughts in the students. But some say that they have thought of such things, but the one omnipotent God must have admitted it, so that the thought appeared as a finished work before them.
 If the students still remain faithful to the one God, then the teachers would ask them how then do they know that there is a God? The students then usually reply to them: The first wise teachers have taught us this. Now, however, these teachers probe further, saying, What then would you say, if we, as equally wise teachers would say and teach that there is no God, and that all that you see is made and built by us? And what will you say when we say of ourselves that we are the actual true gods?
 Behold, here the children really hesitates, and then ask the teachers what they should do in this case?
 But these teachers say to them, "Seek in you what you must do; if there is a God, then you must find him in you, and if there be none, you will never find any.
 When the children ask how they should make such a search in themselves, the teachers say, "Try to love the God which you believe that he exists, in your hearts, as if He really exists. Let this love grow, and if there is a God, He will answer you in your love, but if there is none, you will not receive an answer in your hearts.
 See, here the pupils begin to go into their inner being and begin to love the God whom they only previously believed in, in a childlike fashion. But then it happens that God, the Lord does not report as soon as expected, and our children are in no small doubt. But how they are brought to conquer this doubt, from these, the persecution will show.
CHAPTER 74 How should one seek God?
 There are already some who have just turned to their teachers, and have made the remark that they are now compelled to believe that there is no God besides the teachers who perform miracles before them, while this God, whom they have took hold of with their love in their hearts, have not shown up among them in any perceptible way.
 But what do teachers do in reaction to their students' statements? Listen to how a teacher, who received such a report, responds: he (the teacher) speaks to his students:
 My beloved children! It may well be that God has not yet spoken to you; but it can also be that he have spoken, but that you are too inattentive and have not noticed it.
 Therefore tell me, Where were you, when you took hold of God in your hearts? Were you outside under the trees of the garden, or in the galleries of the hall, or were you on the great floor of the hall, or in some chamber, or were you in your boarding-rooms, which were built outside this great school? And tell me what you have seen, noticed, and felt here and there.
 The children say, "We were outside among the trees, and we saw the glories of God's creations, which we should believe in, and rejoiced that He had done such splendid things. We imagined Him to be a very dear father, who likes to come to His children, and have thereby also felt a great longing in our hearts to see Him, and then to meet Him with all our childish love, to embrace Him and to love Him with all our might.
 But no Father came to us from any side. We also asked each other carefully, whether one or the other have not yet noticed the Father. But every one of us can honestly say that we have not in the least seen anything at all of Him.
 We then left the square, hurried to the booths of the lecture hall building, and did so there. But the success was the same as under the trees. We went from there to our dormitories, in the opinion that here the Father would be most likely to visit us, for we prayed a great deal, and begged Him fervently to show Himself to us. But it was all in vain! Since we have obeyed your advice in vain, we now feel compelled to agree with your doctrine that there is not a God. And so we have decided among ourselves that if there is already a God, there is not a whole, but a divided one in all the living and free beings as you and we are. God is, therefore, only a totality of the corporeal power, which first and foremost recognizes Himself and others in the beings, as you are, and also acts powerfully as such.
 See the little philosophers here, and at the same time recognize the reason or the false seed which is the fruit of all these slippery rational speculations.
 What does our teacher say about these philosophies of his disciples? Hear, therefore, his words: My dear children! Now I have shown you the reason in yourselves quite clearly why no God has shown up for you, neither under the trees, nor in the solitude, nor in the dormitories (that is, neither in the inquiry in nature through experiences nor dissections thereof, nor by the way of higher speculations of reason and intellect, nor in your not much better than daily life) because you have already gone out with doubts.
 You have not definitely expected God, but only expected a probability. But God must be in Himself the highest degree of definite determination. When you have sought with doubt in your thoughts, faith and will for the highest Godly certainty, how could He reveal Himself amidst such indefinite probability? Therefore, remember what I will tell you now:
 If you want to seek God, and you also want to see Him, then you must step out with the greatest certainty and seek Him as such. You must, without the slightest doubt believe that He is, even if you do not get to see Him for how long. Then you must embrace Him with your love with the same certainty as your belief in Him. Then it will be shown whether you have attained the greatest possible determination in your thinking, faith, will, and love.
 If you have obtained the same, God will surely show up for you, if He does exist. But if you have not attained this determination, you will return to me without having achieved your object, as you did this time.
 Look, the children consider the teaching of the teacher, and one, seemingly the weakest of them, goes to the teacher and says: Listen to me, you dear, wise teacher! Do you not think that if I went all alone into my dormitory, and if I would like to embrace God the Lord as the most loving Father with my love, in the right way, since I have never been able to doubt whether there is a God, but I remained, despite all the contradictory proofs, forever and steadfastly sure of God. Do not you think he would show up with me if I wanted to love Him alone? For that many thoughts and beliefs, after all, seem to me a little arduous.
 The teacher said to the child, "Go, my dear little child, and do what is good to you; who knows for the present whether you are right? I can now give you neither a yes nor a no, but say to you, "Go and find out what love can do!"
 Now see the child running out of the hall into his dormitory-room, and the other students question the teacher whether he preferred the enterprise of the one child, which now went to his dormitory-room, to what they are now doing according to his advice, to go out with all certainty and to search for God.
 But the teacher said, "You have heard what I said to your fellow student, that is neither a yes or no; I also say to you. Go out or don't; do what is best for you, and experience will show which path is the better and the shorter one, or whether the one is false or the other right, or whether both are false or both correct.
 Now see, a part of the children understand the determination concept, but others only the love. Those who enter into determination go out into the garden in full depth of thought, willingness and firm faith; but a part goes into the dormitory-rooms to seek God.
 But as you can see, the child, first led by love for God, is led into the hall by a simple man and goes straight to the teacher. What is he going to say?
 Listen, he (the child) speaks: Dear, wise teacher, come here! When I began to love the dear great Heavenly Father in my dormitory-room, this simple man came to me and asked me if I was really so fond of the Heavenly Father. I told him, O dear man, thou canst read it on my face. But then the man asked me how I imagined the great Heavenly Father in my mind. And I said to him, I imagine Him as a man; but only He must be very great and strong, and surely also have a great radiance, because this world and the sun shining upon it, are already so exceedingly glorious and splendid.
 Here the simple man lifted me, pressed me to his heart, gave me a kiss, and then said to me, "Take me over to the tutor's school; there we want to discuss everything, and to properly see what the Heavenly Father looks like, if He exists, when He is, and how He creates, directs, and governs everything out of Himself. Now, behold, my wise teacher, here I am now with this simple man. Who do you think this man would be, because he treats me with so much fondness?
 And the teacher speaks in the most obvious love and respect: O most happy child, you have already found the Right One; behold, this is God, our most loving Father! And the Lord now bows down, and takes the child upon His arm, and asks him, Am I the one whom thy teacher have announced unto thee? And the child speaks with great excitement: Oh, yes, it is You, I recognize Your infinite goodness, for who else is as good as You, that he would take me into His arms, and would cuddle and caress like You?! But I also love you so incomprehensibly much that I can never be separated from You ever again; do therefore not to leave me here, my dear Father. For I have never felt such kindness and love as now on Your arms! And the Lord says, Fear not, O my child! Whoever has once found Me like you will never lose Me forever. But now you must be very quiet about Me; for the other children who have sought Me, have not yet found Me. We will put them up for a small trial so that they may find Me; so be quiet until I give you a hint!
CHAPTER 75 Longing for God as an important testimony to His existence
 Now see, the other searching children have just come in. It is clear from the expression on their faces that they have found in neither one nor the other way, the One they are looking for. They approach their teacher a second time quite timidly, and the teacher asks them: Well, my dear children, How did it go with your looking among the trees or on the floor or on the galleries, or with the search of that part of you who have chosen to seek the Lord in the dormitory rooms? As you can see, all of you shrug your shoulders; have you not yet found and seen the good dear Father, the God of all heaven and of all the worlds? - How is your faith ordered? Do you still have doubts about the existence of God?
 The children say, "Oh dear, exalted teacher, as far as doubts are concerned, we now have them more than ever; for behold, neither our firm will, nor our most living faith, nor all our most established thoughts on God the Lord, nor our firm love could achieve anything. If there were any God and Lord, He must have revealed Himself to us in one way or another; for behold, in the end we all have united and firmly believed that there must be a holy, good, loving God and Father. We have embraced Him with all our love and called out His name announced by you, saying, "Oh dearest, Holy Father Jesus, come, come to us, hear our childlike supplication, and show us that you are One and also love us as we love you! ? And behold, dear exalted teacher, thus we have called for a long time; but no trace was heard of any heavenly Father. It was all in vain; therefore we are perfectly certain that there is no other higher teacher or God besides you exalted teachers.
 We indeed do not want to claim this by saying: our doubts are based on a firm ground. But we can safely assume that after such ineffective efforts to investigate the existence of God, more doubt than a firm belief in it can arise.
 But we also see the one who has separated himself from us, seeking the Lord with love alone; did he not find anything either?
 The teacher speaks: My dear little children, I cannot tell you about that for the time being. The children, however, continue to ask the teacher: Dear, exalted teacher! Who is that strange, plain man there, with whom one of us is busying himself and looks at him with so much love? Maybe his father has arrived here from the Earth?
 The teacher speaks: My dear little children, that's something I cannot tell you. For the moment, however, you may take note of the fact that this plain man is exceedingly wise, and you must therefore pay keen attention if He would speak to you about this or that.
 The children say: Oh, dear teacher, can such a simple person also be wise? For behold, we have learned till now that the teachers, like you, become more sublime and shiny the wiser they become. That man, however, does not look so sublime and brilliant, but is much simpler and plainer than you. It seems a bit strange then that he should be extremely wise.
 The teacher says: Yes, my dear little children, with the deepest inner wisdom, the external glow does not matter at all, but it says: the more shine from the outside, the less light from the inside, the more light from the inside, the less shine to the outside. But just go and ask Him something, and you'll see straightway how wise He is.
 Now the children go to the Lord and ask him, still suspecting nothing: You dear, plain Man! Would You not allow us to ask You something?
 The Lord speaks: O with all my heart, My beloved little children! Just ask, and I'll find My way with the answer. The children ask the Lord: Since You have allowed us to ask You, we are just asking You what we care most about. Behold, we have been searching and proofing for some time, for and against, whether there is a God who is an exceedingly good Father in Heaven of all human beings who ever lived anywhere. But we cannot find any trace of this Father anywhere, and our teacher himself does not want or cannot tell us anything well-founded in this matter. But he has told us that You are exceedingly wise; Therefore, we would like to know from You if there is such a God and Father or not? If you know anything about it, tell us. We will listen to You carefully, and not a word will escape Your mouth that we would not pay the greatest attention to.
 The Lord says: Yes, little children, you have indeed given me a very difficult question that I can hardly answer you; because if I would tell you that there is such a God and Father, you will say: that is not enough for us, as long as we do not see Him. And when you say then, let us see the Father, what will I say to you then? I could point you there or there with My finger, and you would see nothing; for wherever I would show you would never find your God and Father. But if I would tell you: Children, the Father is here among you! Will you believe it?
 Would you not ask, where is He? Is he one of the teachers of this great hall? And when I say to you then: O no, my beloved children! What will you do then? You will look at Me a great deal and say: Behold, the man keeps us on a line. If it is not one of the many teachers, who is it? You would not be it? Because as simple, plain and lackluster as You are, the very noble Heavenly Father cannot look!
 And if you have given me such an answer, what option should I offer you as reply? Therefore you should just ask Me for something else; because answering this question does not seem to be the right thing to do.
 The children speak: O dear, wise Man! See, that's not possible. We are not interested in another question to be answered; but only to know whether there does exist a Heavenly Father or not. For if there is a Father in heaven, then we would all be exceedingly happy, but if there is none, we are all here as if without reason, and we do not know for what, through what and why? Therefore, if you can, just answer the first question; that is what we urgently ask you for.
 That you are a very wise man, we have already taken from your evasive answer. Therefore, lead us at least a few steps closer to the one Father, because there must be one. We notice this from the fact that we have an ever greater longing after this very heavenly Father, the more He wishes to hide behind our childish doubts.
 If He would not exist at all, where would this longing within us come from, which is as alive as we are? The certainty of the existence of a heavenly Father must indeed grow together with the yearning!
 The Lord says: Well, little children, you are just taking the words out of My mouth! Indeed, in longing there is a great proof; But what is the consequence of longing? Is it not true, little children, that the result will be that one want to be sure of what you long for. You say that's a good answer. But I ask you now: what is the reason for the longing? - You tell Me, it's the love for the one you long for.
 But if one wants to see something fundamentally and in the fullness of truth, is it sufficient to remain only with yearning and its consequence? You tell Me: Oh no, dear man of great wisdom! You have to go back to the bottom of it. If the great truth does not manifest itself then everything is wrong; But if it announces itself there, then one has come to the vivacious conviction that it is never anywhere else to be known and seen.
 But look now, you little children! That one brother of you went that way; he has found the Father! Ask Him where He is, and he will point his finger at the Father!
 Now the others fall over each other and demand that of him. And this one says, O my dear brothers! Look at Him whom you thought to be plain and simple, It is He Himself whom you have sought for so long in vain, that is the good, dear heavenly Father - holy, holy is His Name! Believe me, for I have already seen His glory. But do not believe it because I tell you, but approach Him alone with your hearts, and you will certainly find Him as true and glorious as I have found Him!
 Look how these children now all call out, as they recognize the Father: O Father, Father, Father !!! It is You, yes, it is You! For we already had a strong suspicion in Your proximity! But since we have found you, would You never again hide from us, so that we will not have to look for You so hard again!
 And the Lord says, Amen! Little children, your faces should from now on never again be turned away from Me! If I do not always stay with you, as now, I will be there in that sun that shines on you! - The rest will be revealed to you by your teacher.
CHAPTER 76 Instructions on the second and third commandments in the second and third halls
 But we do not need to follow what these children will still receive here from their teachers about the Lord; for they got through the period or state in which they have completely lost the Lord, and thus also the first classroom of which, as you have seen earlier, there are twelve in this division. - It would be too long to take part in the continuing education of these children in all the following classrooms. But in order that you may know what is taught in these halls, and in what way, I tell you, that you may have gathered this from the first tablet in the middle of the first classroom, as to what this great doctrine is - none other than the ten commandments of Moses, and finally the two commandments of love.
 In each succeeding hall, a new commandment is practically taught and practiced, and that throughout, in the same manner as you had had sufficient opportunity to observe with the first commandment here in the first hall.
 Thus, immediately in the next hall, the commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of God vain," is discussed. In fact, you yourselves also do not understand what this commandment fundamentally means, and that is why I also want to correct your understanding of these commandments through some examples and explanations.
 Thus, in this second room, this commandment is not interpreted as if no one should not, on secular occasions, pronounce the Name of the Lord without due respect and reverence, which prohibition would certainly be of no use here. For if someone thinks that he has to pronounce the name of the Lord only in the most extreme case of need, and always with the highest reverence and respect, this would have meant nothing more and nothing less than: one should certainly never pronounce the name of God, by which two conditions are presupposed under which the name of God is to be pronounced. These conditions are, however, in the first place based on such screws, that none can say for certain and with conviction, which occasion would be such an extreme emergency which would justify the utterance of the most holy Name. Secondly, even if such a case would occur, such as in extreme life-danger, which can happen under various conditions, it is still to wonder whether any man in such most dubious conditions would possess the presence of mind and the capacity to dignify the name of the Lord as would be proper?
 So, if you look at the explanation of this second commandment, as it usually occurs on earth, you must necessarily arrive at this final conclusion that the name of the Lord should never actually be pronounced, and for the simple reason that the two hardly discernible, given conditions can ever agree with each other. I would like to know those people on the earth who, in their highest distress, would be able to place themselves in that quietly exalted reverent and devout state, in which he may utter the name of the Lord with dignity.
 If this would be so, then no man should pray, for in prayer he also names the name of the Lord. But man should pray daily and give glory to God and should not restrict prayer to the most extreme emergency.
 It is clear from all this that this commandment is wrongly understood. But in order to put an end to all brooding over it with one blow, I will tell you in a nutshell how this commandment is to be fundamentally understood. And so does: Thou shalt not call the name of God vain, mean as much as:
 Thou shalt not merely utter the Name of God with your mouth, not merely utter the articulated sound of a few syllables, but since God is the reason of your life, you must always utter it from the very bottom of your life, that is, you shalt not pronounce it mechanically, but always alive in all your actions; because whatever you do, you do with the power God has given you. If you use this power for evil action, then you evidently desecrate the divine in you; and this is your power, the Living Name of God!
 See, so much does this commandment say, that for the first time you should know the name of God, what He is, and what He is; and then he should not pronounce it vainly with outward words just like another name, but always actively, because the name of God is the energy of man. Therefore, man should also do everything he does in this name. If he does that, he does not speak the name of God in vain with outward words, but actively and vividly.
 And see, in this way is this second commandment practically taught to the students in this second hall, and practiced by each one until he has reached a just skill in it. If he achieved that, he then goes to the third hall for the third commandment, which is, as you know:
 Thou shalt hallow the Sabbath. "- But what does that mean, especially here, when no more night alternates with day, and only perpetual, eternal day exists? When is the Sabbath? Since the commandment is of Divine origin, it must be an eternal and not a merely temporal rule, and must have a fully valid meaning in the realm of the spirits as on earth.
 With you it is said that one should, on a sabbath, being a compulsory day of rest, do no servile work, by which is meant all gainful occupation. But it is permissible to perform a show, to play, even to dance like the gentiles. It is necessary to fast one day before the Sabbath in order to be able to eat better and more on the Sabbath. So even the hosts are allowed to sell their food and cheat their guests on a holiday more than any other. That is, according to law, to hallow the Sabbath; the more blessed work in the field and in the acre may not be done, but everything else is fit for the Sabbath.
 But the Lord has shown in the world that even on the Sabbath one can work fitly and do good. But if the Lord Himself worked on the Sabbath, then I believe that every person should have enough proof that the 'hallowing of the Sabbath' should be understood as something quite different from not working, or taking something in the hands which is useful and beneficial.
 But what is meant by the sanctification of the Sabbath? What is the Sabbath? I want to tell you very briefly:
 The Sabbath is neither Saturday, nor Sunday, nor Easter or Pentecost, nor any other day of the week or year, but it is nothing but the day of the spirit in man, the Divine light in the human spirit, the rising sun of life in the human soul. That is the Living Day of the Lord in man, which he is continually to recognize and sanctify through all his actions, which he is to do out of love for God and out of love for his neighbor.
 But since man cannot and will never find this holy day of rest of the Lord in the chaos of the world, therefore, let him withdraw from the world and seek that Day of the Life of the sacred rest of God.
 Therefore the people of the Israelites were commanded to appoint at least one day of the week, when they should withdraw from worldly affairs, and seek in themselves that day of life. But the law was observed only externally and materially, and in the end it was brought to such an extent that even the Lord of the Sabbath was not recognized, the Holy Father, when driven by infinite love, came to earth on his children!
 I think that you would fully understand from these words what was meant by the sanctification of the Sabbath and how it should be kept.
 You should as well be able to understand the question of whether your Sunday keeping is a true sabbatical sanctification, whether one can, through an hour of worship, followed by worldly entertainment, reach the innermost, eternal Living Day of rest of the Lord?
 If I were with you on earth, I would like to set a very high price on the proof, whether by attending church, then by hard eating, and finally by going for a walk, driving or riding, sometimes even by dancing, playing and drinking, not infrequently through lies and deceit, through ordinary personal visitations, and more enterprises of the like, one would find the true Sabbath in spirit and sanctify it. Who knows if there are not philosophers who could provide such proof? Of course he would be exposed to be like a false coin with us.
 It is barely necessary to mention that here, only the living Sabbath-sanctification is taught to and practiced by the children. You can form for yourself a thorough concept of how these commandments of the Lord are actually to be understood.
 Just like these two commandments and the previous one, we also want to walk through the others, for you to get a proper concept, in which sense all the commandments here are being taught to the children. And so we will proceed and take a close look at the next one, the fourth commandment in the fourth hall.
CHAPTER 77 The fourth commandment in the fourth room (in the spiritual sense)
 The fourth commandment, as you have it on earth, is: "Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long and you may prosper on earth." - This commandment is as good of Divine origin as the first three. But what does it require and what does it promise? Nothing but the obedience of the children to their parents and for this obedience, a temporal benefit.
 Can everyone not ask and say: How can such a divine commandment sanction itself through mere temporal promises and has apparently nothing in the background which offers eternal spiritual advantages? What is up with such a temporal benefit? What does the well-being mean, what the long life, if nothing higher follows after it?
 It's true: a good and long life is better than short and bad. But when, at the end of the life-period, the inhospitable death appears, and what advantage does the good and long life have above the bad and short? I mean, you do not need to be a fundamental mathematician to say that the difference is overall a pure zero; for the first as well as the second overcome a bare nothing, and then it matters very little whether the road to this reception was good or bad.
 By this measure, the Fourth Commandment would be based on a very slippery ground, and the parents would indeed be sick of it, if their children were born into the world with such philosophy, and the children themselves would find little reason in such consideration, to obey her parents. Furthermore, the following critical consideration can be made of this commandment: As the commandment sounds, it has only a temporal basis, that is, merely representing the duty of the children toward their parents.
 The question then arises: What is the purpose of this commandment here in the spiritual realm, where the children are separated from their parents forever? For if they are separated from their parents, surely they will be relieved of their earthly duty. Nevertheless, here in this fourth hall we notice this commandment written on the blackboard. Should it be related to the Lord for these children? This could be heard, however, if only the prophecy did not stand under it: "To live long and to live on earth?" If it were there: "To live forever and to live well in heaven", such a transversion of the law would be easy to understand; but a temporal promise in the eternal realm of the spirits sounds a bit strange.
 What do you think, what will be done here, to give this law a fully established Divine prestige? Of course you shrug your shoulders and say quietly in yourselves: Dear friend and brother! If it would depend on our discretion here, then there will be a significant snag with the purely Divine sphere of this law; for, according to the above consideration, one would think it is easy to find not too much spirituality here.
 But I tell you that exactly this commandment, like almost no other, is purely spiritual. You are now making big eyes; but the thing is no different. But in order to see this at once, I will do nothing but say this law with slightly different words, as it is also said here in this lecture, and you will immediately see the fullness of the truth. But how is it said here? - Listen!
 Children! Obey the order of God, which proceeds from His love and wisdom (ie father and mother), so that you may live long on earth in well-being. What is long life, and what is eternal life compared to it? The "long life". denotes life in wisdom; and "long" is understood not as duration, but as expansion and ever greater power of life; for the word or the concept "life" already implies eternal duration. But the word "long" does not mean any duration, but only a spreading of the life-force, with which the living being always gets deeper into the depths of Divine life, and thereby makes his own life more and more perfect, firm, and effective.
 This we now understand; but "well-being on earth" what does that mean? Nothing other than the taking-unto-self of the Divine life, for by the "earth" here is meant the proper being, and the "well-being" in this being is nothing other than the free being in itself, according to the completely taken-unto-self Divine order.
 This short explanation is enough to see that this very law is completely of a purely spiritual nature. If you want to check it out more at your leisure, you will find it to be so on your own earth. But here too, it is practically taught to the children, and with the greatest benefit. But now that we know this, we immediately proceed to the fifth room.
CHAPTER 78 The fifth commandment in the fifth hall - spiritually explained
 You once again see a tablet installed in this fifth hall, and on it is written in an easy readable script: "Thou shalt not kill." If you consider this commandment only somewhat moderately and then consider the history of the Israelite people, your eyes would have to more than triple cross, if you would not see it at the first moment that there is a strange problem with this commandment "thou shalt not kill!" How, where, when, and what?
 What does "kill" mean anyway? Does killing kill the body or deprive the spirit of its heavenly life force? If killing is restricted to the human body, the killing of the spirit cannot possibly be meant by it; for it is said that every man should certainly kill his flesh in order to enliven the spirit, just as the Lord Himself speaks: "Whoever loves his life, that is the life of the flesh, he will lose it; but whoever loses it for My sake, will receive it. "
 Likewise, this is also evident in the nature of things. If the outer bark or pod of a fruit would not die, the fruit will not come to any living germination. But it is clear from all this that the killing of the flesh cannot at the same time be the killing of the spirit. But if this law is understood merely as the killing of the spirit, then who is sure of his physical life?
 It is in contrast, well known to all that the prevalent contemporary multifarious exaltation of the flesh, is nothing but the "killing of the spirit." If you would compare it to the history of the Israelite people to whom, as you would say, these laws were freshly baked, you will find the strange contrast that the lawgiver Moses himself, was the first to have many Israelites killed; and his successors had to do the same with transgressors of the law.
 "Thou shalt not kill "- this law was as good as all the others in the ark of the covenant. But what did the whole Israelite army do when it entered the Promised Land, with the former inhabitants of that land? What did even David do, the man after the heart of God? What about the greatest prophet Elijah? - See, they all killed, and very often, and often quite cruelly.
 Whoever is of a sober and unbiased spirit, does not have to pronounce the judgment in himself and say: What is this commandment, against which, as otherwise against none, even the first prophets appointed by God were obliged to act?
 Such a commandment is as good as none. Even in our times, the killing of brothers in war is even a matter of honor! Yes, the Lord Himself kills legions of human beings day after day; and yet it says: "Thou shalt not kill!" and David had even had a military commander killed, for he had spared a place which had to be destroyed, despite the swearing of an oath.
 Good, I say, so it is with the commandment on earth. But here we see it in the heavenly realm, where one being cannot kill the other anymore, and certainly no one will even remotely conceive the slightest thought of killing anyone. So why is it written here on the board? For example, from a purely historical point of view, so that the students should learn here, what commandments have been given on earth? Or should these very good-natured children's spirits, for some time be brought into a lust for murder by this commandment, to then fight against it in themselves? You could indeed accept that; but what conclusion or end result will you get from this? I say to you nothing else than: If the murder-lust must finally be removed from the children, if they have proven themselves as sufficiently resistant against murder lust according to the law, one must assume also that they would not have gained or lost anything thereby, as if they had never been filled with the lust for murder.
 But I see that in this thorough account of the matter you do not know what you are supposed to do with this commandment. Do not worry; just a few words will suffice to put everything that is doubtful in the clearest light before you, and the law will be just as worthy as on earth, even in heaven, as a sun shines in the sky!
 But for you to grasp the following explanation easily and thoroughly, I only point out to you that in God the eternal preservation of the created spirits is the unchangeable basic condition of all Divine order. Now if you know that, look for the opposite, that is, for the destruction; and you have the full spiritual and physical implication of the commandment before you.
 Instead of saying: Thou shalt not kill, one should say: thou shalt not destroy, neither thyself, nor all that which is thy brother's; for preservation is the eternal basic law in God Himself, according to which He is eternal and infinite in His power. But since on the earth also the human body is necessary for the everlasting education of the spirit until God's appointed time, without an explicit command of God, no one has the right to willfully destroy neither his own body nor that of his brother.
 So, when we speak of the required preservation, it goes without saying that everyone is just as little entitled to destroy the spirit of his brother as his own by whatever means and make one unfit for the attainment of eternal life. God, of course, kills human bodies every day; but at the right time, when the spirit has matured in some or the other way. Even the angels of heaven, as perpetual servants of God, kill the bodies of men on earth; but not unless they are commanded by the Lord, and then only in the way the Lord wants it.
 In this way do the children here learn in spiritually practical ways in which the preservation of created things consists, and how, united with the will of the Lord, it must always be handled with the utmost care. And if you have understood this only to some extent, it will certainly be plausible to see for yourself, firstly the great dignity of this law, and secondly why it also occurs here in the realm of the heavenly children's spirits. But since we know such things, we can immediately go to the sixth room.
CHAPTER 79 The sixth commandment in the sixth room - What is unchastity?
 Here again we see a tablet in the middle of the sixth room. On the board is written in clearly legible writing: "Thou shalt not practice unchastity, nor commit adultery." This is unmistakably the sixth commandment that the Lord has given to the Israelite people through Moses (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18, Matthew 5:27). This commandment is certainly one of the most difficult to grasp in its fundamental condition and then to exactly observe it in the very basis of life.
 What is forbidden by this commandment? - And who cares about this commandment, the spirit, the soul or the body? Who is not supposed to drive unchastity out of these three life potentials? That would be a question. But what is actually the unchastity and what the adultery? Is unchastity the mutual act of mating? If that is the case, then by this commandment every act of procreation is included; for in this simple commandment we find absolutely no conditional exception; it is said, "Thou shalt not practice unchastity.
 So if the act of intercourse is, in a certain way, regarded as the culmination of unchastity, I would like to know even the one who, under the present form of things on earth, could beget a generation without this forbidden act. Whether in marriage or out of marriage, the act is the same. Whether he is really committed with the intent of child-making or not, it is the same. Moreover, the commandment itself has no condition in which a regular marriage would be exempt from unchastity.
 On the other hand, however, every human being must understand that the Lord is very much in favor of the reproduction of the human race, and to a wise education of the same. But by what means should the human race reproduce, if the act of procreation is forbidden on punishment of eternal death? I think that every human being can easily understand that there is a catch here.
 But for that, everyone must necessarily bear witness that, among all the commandments that should be kept, nature will generally throw a mighty stick before the feet of man over which he must stumble, as with exactly this one. Anyone who enjoyed an even moderately decent education, has no problem, or at most only a very slight one, in the keeping of the other commandments; but with this commandment, nature always draws a strong line, even through the account of the apostle Paul!
 We see an apparent prohibition of carnal pleasure, which is inseparably connected with the act of procreation. If, then, the prohibition lies only in carnal pleasure and not at the same time also in the act of procreation, then it is to be wondered whether carnal pleasure can be separated from the orderly act of procreation? Who among you can prove this and claim that two legally ordered spouses do not feel the temporal desire in the act of procreation? Or where is that couple that would not have been at least halfway driven by the imminent carnal desire for the act of procreation?
 But we can see from this that we cannot possibly understand this commandment with regard to unchastity with regard to the bodily act of procreation. There must be either a pure act of procreation which has nothing to do with the lust of the flesh, or if such an act cannot be proved, the carnal act of procreation need not stand under this law and be regarded as a voluntary, unpunishable act of people. For it has been said before that the law is relentlessly expressed and without room for exception.
 The necessary existence of people speaks out loud against the prohibition of this act, as well as the always relentlessly desiring nature. For, regardless of someone's class, he will not be acquitted of it when he has reached maturity. He would then have to kill his nature through mutilation, for nothing would curb his concupiscence by any means, even if he would be prevented from doing so by external circumstances.
 So is there nothing to be done with the flesh. Maybe this law affects only the soul? I mean, since the soul is quite the living principle of the body and the free action of it depends purely on the soul, which is dead without the flesh, then it would hardly be difficult to find a super-scholar anywhere who could seriously claim that the soul has nothing to do with the free actions of the body.
 After all, the body is only a tool of the soul, artfully furnished for its use; So what can we do with a commandment only applicable to the body, which in and of itself is a dead machine? If someone made a clumsy hit with a hoe, was it the fault of the hoe or his hand? I think nobody would to say that it is the hoe's fault.
 Neither can one attribute the act of procreation to the body as a sinful act, but only to the acting principle, which here is the living soul. Thus, our previous critical illumination of this commandment must apply only to the soul which thinks, wants and acts in the flesh; and so the soul is necessarily free from this commandment, according to the applied criterion. So, since it's not possible with the soul either; will it be applicable to the spirit? We shall see what is to be gained with the spirit.
 What is the spirit? The spirit is the real life-principle of the soul, and without the spirit, the soul is nothing but a substantial etheric organ, which possesses all ability to absorb life, but without the spirit is nothing but a substantial-spiritual-etheric polyp, only continuously spreading its arms after life and suck up everything that corresponds to its nature.
 The soul without the spirit is therefore a mere dumb polar force, which carries the dull sense of satiety in itself, but possesses no judgment, from which it would become clear, with what it saturates itself and what this saturation serves for. It is comparable to an arch-cretin who feels no desire other than to satisfy himself. With what and why? He himself has no idea. When he feels a great hunger, he eats what comes to his aid, whether it be filth, or bread, or the impure food for pigs, all is equal to him.
 See, the same it is with the soul without the spirit. And these driven cretins have also only a soul life, that is, in whose soul either too weak a spirit or often no spirit is present. But to know that this is so, you need nothing more than to look into the world of the dark spirits; What are these? They are living souls after death, who lived their lives in the most reckless and often malicious manner, and have so weakened and depressed their spirits, that in such a condition they are scarcely capable of procuring the life-saving stimulus, often pushing back all life-benefits into the eternal background!
 How does such beings act in the hereafter compared to blessed living spirits ? No different than bums, therefore as spiritual insane ones, being still in all possible ways malformed, showing no evidence of a human stature. These beings are often with regard to their actions in the spiritual realm, just as accountable as a cretin on your earth. This shows that not the soul in itself, but only the soul in possession of the spirit, can be held accountable, for only in the spirit dwells the free will; in essence, it is all in the spirit.
 But if this is now evident, then the question arises: How and in what way can the absolute spirit commit unchastity? Can the spirit have carnal desires? I think there could hardly be a greater contradiction than if someone wanted to seriously think of a 'carnal spirit', which would necessarily have to be material in order to even have gross material desires in it.
 But just like an arrested one does not find any comfort in his arrest, the absolute spirit has even less passion to unite forever with his free nature with coarse matter, and to find his pleasure in it. Therefore would the notion of an unchaste acting spirit surely be the greatest nonsense a person can ever pronounce. Now one wonders: What, then, is unchastity, and who should not do it by seeing that neither the body, nor the soul, nor the spirit can impart unchastity to themselves, as we now came to know them?
CHAPTER 80 About two kinds of love
 While some may say, Moses later elaborated on this by lawfully allowing the act of procreation only between the blessed spouses, but forbade it otherwise, and has ordained the other kind of procreation, especially if a married man wishes to commit this act that such an act should be regarded as adultery and that adulterers are guilty of death on both sides. This is correct, but subsequent ordinances nevertheless do not give a different form to the law which was simply given in the beginning. Whoever wants to commit himself to this must assert his trial in the first law; for neither unchastity nor adultery are forbidden in a certain way.
 So far, we have clearly explained what you could possibly understand by unchastity. But since all this points to the act of procreation, it is impossible to regard as forbidden the kind of unchastity we have hitherto supposed to be known by this law.
 Now, however, a well-informed one announces himself in the matter, saying: Under unchastity, which is forbidden there, only the empty gratification of the sensual impulse is understood. Good, I say; but if a man with another man's wife, who cannot be fertilized by her husband, seriously longs for a child, I ask: can this be counted as sinful adultery? I also ask: If a young man, driven by his nature, has fathered a child with a girl, can that be counted as a sin of unchastity?
 I also ask: If a man knows from experience that his wife is not fertile, he nevertheless sleeps with her because she has a rich flesh that stimulates him, and he therefore evidently only vainly satisfies his sensuous instinct; can this act be credited to the sin of unchastity?
 I ask further: There are, especially in this time, as there have been at all times, an immense number of people of both sexes who are well able to produce and have a nature which is powerfully urgent; but they are unable, by virtue of political and meager circumstances, to marry. Now, if such doubly afflicted people commit the act of procreation, do they again sin against this sixth commandment?
 It will be said: They are to sacrifice their instinct to God and not mate, so they will not sin. But I say: what judge can declare such a failing as a real sin? What, then, does the rich have the merit of being able to take a decent wife, but the poor are denied this bliss? Should the privileged have a greater right to procreation than the poor? Does money thus sanctify procreation because the rich can afford the proper possession of a woman, which is impossible for a thousand less privileged ones?
 One can still ask: Who is really to blame for the multifarious impoverishment of the people? Certainly none other than the fortunate kingdom, who attracts many treasures through his self-serving speculation, by which not infrequently a thousand people could adequately qualify for ordinary marital status. And yet should the rich husband alone be free from the sin of unchastity, when he bears children with his own wife, and the poor man alone should be the scapegoat because he cannot take a wife? Would not that be just as condemnable as if one would on earth decide to go on a pilgrimage to a place, and be given a commandment that no one should visit this place on foot in order to receive any grace there, but everyone who visits this place and would want to receive grace, must go there in a most elegant equipage?
 He who should find such a command righteous must certainly be in earnest of such a world, of which the Creator of heaven and the earth Himself knows nothing, that is, of a world which does not exist anywhere; or he would have to be a member of Satan!
 But we now see from these considerations that it does not quite do with the explanation of our sixth commandment. What will we do to gain the full meaning of this commandment? I tell you in advance: It's not as easy as anyone would like to imagine. Yes, I say:
 In order to gain the right meaning of this commandment, one must burrow deeply and grasp the matter at the root; otherwise one will always find oneself in the dubious position in which it is easy to regard as sin what is not a sin in the farthest sense, and what is really a sin, scarcely worth the trouble, considers it to be a sin.
 But where is this root? We will find it right away. You know that love is the foundation and the basic condition of all things. Without love, nothing would never have been created, and without love, no existence would be conceivable, just as little as a world would ever have been formed without the mutual attraction of the will of the Creator. For example, if you do not understand this, think of one world without the mutual power of attraction, and you'll see how all the atoms of a world suddenly separate and vanish into nothingness.
 Love is therefore the cause of everything and at the same time it is the key to all secrets.
 But how can love be brought into an explanatory connection with our sixth commandment? I say to you, nothing easier than that, because in no act in the world is love as intimately interwoven as in the one we count as uncouth.
 But we know that man is capable of a twofold love, namely the Divine, which opposes all self-love, and the self-love, which is contrary to all Divine love.
 The question now is: if someone commits the act of procreation, what love was there the motive: the self-love, under whose authority also any craving for pleasure stands, or the Divine love, which only wants to communicate what it has, completely forgetting of itself? See, we are already pretty much on the track of the actual main principle.
 Let us now take two men: one commits the act out of selfish lust for pleasure, the other in gratitude for the ability to procreate, to impart his seed to a woman in order to awaken a fruit in her. Which of the two sinned? I think it's not going to be difficult to judge here and make a decision.
 In order for us to understand the matter completely, we also need to familiarize ourselves with the concept of 'unchastity'. What is chastity and what is unchastity? Chastity is that state of mind of man in which he is free of all selfishness, or in which he is pure of all the defects of self-love. Non-chastity is that state of mind in which man takes only himself into account, acts for himself, and completely forgets his fellow-man, especially concerning a woman.
 Selfishness, however, is nowhere more disgraceful than it is in the case of a deed in which it is a matter of a man's perversion. Why then? The cause is as clear as the day. As the ground, so the seed, so also is the fruit. If Divine love is the chastity of the seed, a Divine fruit will also appear; But if self-love, self-indulgence and pleasure-craving, that is, the unchaste state of mind the seed, what fruit will come forth from this?
 See, in that lies what is forbidden by the sixth commandment. If this commandment had been observed, the earth would still be a heaven, for there would be no selfish and domineering person on it! But this commandment was already transgressed in the beginning of man, and the fruit of this transgression was self-serving and selfish Cain.
 But from this it follows that not only the so-called falsely named 'fornication', which should better be called 'pleasure-seeking', belongs in the series of our sins to be treated, but any enjoyment of pleasure, whatever its design may be, but especially if a man makes the already weak woman selfishly useful for enjoyment, then it is to be regarded as a sin of unchastity. - A short pursuit will make things clearer.
CHAPTER 81 What is fornication?
 One could say here, in the Sixth Commandment, that only "Thou shalt not do unchastity," and that fornication cannot be regarded as forbidden, since in the sixth commandment there is nowhere: "Thou shalt not commit fornication." But I say: What is whoring, of whatever kind, spiritual or carnal? It is a certain accommodation of vice in the following way: One philosophizes about the sinful possibility, places all phenomena in the realm of 'natural needs'. If one expresses to his own being the demand to satisfy them, then, according to his reason and his inventiveness, man does only something praiseworthy and fruitful, so that, for all the needs of his nature which are being demanded, he can bring about means by which the same goal can be accomplished , The animal must satisfy its needs in the most crude instinctive way, because it has no mind, reason, or inventiveness. In this way, however, man rises above the common, natural animal, that he alone can satisfy the requirements of his species in a refined manner. Therefore, the mind of the cultural man says:
 Who can account it a sin to a man if, with the help of his intellect, builds an imposing house for his habitation, and thus exchanges a former burrow or a hollow tree with it? Who can account it a sin to a man, if he refines the tree fruits, and produces from the sour apples and pears, something sweet and tasty? Who can account it a sin to a man if he builds a chariot, tames the horse, and then journeys much more comfortable than with his own weak, troubled feet? Who else can still account it a sin to a man, if he cooks and spices the natural fruits to his nourishment and makes them more tasty? Or create things in the world for another purpose than to be useful to man?
 How much beautiful and useful things have man discovered for his comfort and amusement! Would this be reckoned to be a mistake if he would pay honor to his Creator with his intellect, without which the body of the world would appear as uncultivated as a barren desert on which everything grows together in a chaotic disorder, such as cabbage, beets and stinging nettles?
 If, however, mankind's diverse cultivation of the earth cannot possibly be counted as a misstep, even though it contains no other purpose in itself than a more pleasurable and more comfortable enjoyment of things in the world; On the other hand, a refined pleasure in procreation cannot be attributed to man as an error, for otherwise even the most educated man would be, regarding this act, the least differentiated from an animal. Thus, even this instinct of man must be satisfied in a more refined and cultivated manner, for the same reason why one builds comfortable dwelling-houses, makes soft clothes, prepares tasty meals, and so on. That is, more amenities.
 Just assume for instance that a man of the educated class, has to choose between two female persons for his satisfaction; one is a filthy, mean peasant maid, but the other, as the daughter of a respectable house, is a well-bred, very well-dressed girl, flawless in her whole body, and all together lush and charming. Question: Who will the educated man choose? The answer will not cause a headache here; certainly the second one, because the first one will disgust him. So here, too, refinement certainly a most convenient purpose, because man attests to it, proving that he is a higher being, who has everything in his power to purify and dispose of everything unpleasant and dirty and make things clean and pleasant.
 But since the man and the woman in this regard often have a great need to satisfy themselves, and yet cannot always make the demand to produce a child, would it again be their duty to exercise the intellectual powers, setting up the means to satisfy this impulse, be it only by blind intercourse with a woman or by self-gratification or, in an emergency, through the so-called boy's desecration? For this is what makes a man different from an animal in that he can satisfy this most natural instinct in other ways than just that which he has been instructed by rude nature. And so, after all, well-conditioned brothel houses and such institutions are to be endorsed, and can by no means dishonor the intellect of man!
 See, what objection can be raised against this from a natural perspective? For it is true that the animal cannot achieve such cultivations and all sorts of nuances to the satisfaction of its sexual instinct, and so, in a sense, the mastery of the human understanding is undeniably to be discovered. This is all right, the animal has its time in all of this, yet otherwise, it remains dull unto the satisfaction of this urge.
 But what is all this sophistication? It is a quick question, but the answer is big and weighty. Surely this sophistication has nothing to do with basic motives, but with appallingly exasperating lust for pleasure. But pleasure-seeking, we know, is an unmistakable child of self-love, which is quite identical with the lust for power.
 It is true that living in a stately home is easier than living in a lowly mud hut. But let's take a look at the inhabitants! How proud and lofty we see the inhabitants of a palace company, and how humble the simple hut-dweller bows before such a splendid palace lord!
 Let's take a look at the inhabitants of a big city and those of a small farming village. The inhabitants of the big city do not know how to help each other out of sheer lust for pleasure, they all want to live comfortably, they all have to talk, they all shine and maybe they can reign a bit. If a poor country-dweller comes to the big city, he has to address at least every boot polisher: 'Your Grace', if he does not want to expose himself to any rudeness.
 But if we go to the village, we will still find fathers, not infrequently peaceful neighbors, who do not call themselves 'Your Grace' and 'Lord of'. What is preferable: when one farmer says to the other: 'Brother'! or if in the city, a slightly more middle-class appeals to a slightly more privileged: your grace', and 'Lord of' and the like?
 I think it will be barely necessary to go on pursuing such nonsensical offshoots of the sophistication of the human mind, but we can at once make the main proposition: All such pleasure-seeking refinements are, according to preceding considerations, nothing but idolatry; for they sacrifice the human spirit, to the outer dead nature.
 But if they are idolatrous, they are also the hardest whores, and their tendency cannot be accepted into the sphere of chastity.
 Why was Babel called a whore? Because every imaginable finery was at home there. This also includes, the whoring urge in the true sense: unchastity serves all their life force. Thus, a rich husband who, for the sole enjoyment of a sumptuous and randy wife, is nothing but a barbarous fornicator, and the wife, a hard whore. And so here too, unchastity is shown in its foundations, as it is a most base desire for self-service and self-pleasure.
 It was necessary to shed more light on this commandment for you, because man does not pass over any command as easily as he does this one. - Therefore I think that you now also understand this lecture; and so we will immediately go to the seventh room.
CHAPTER 82 The seventh commandment in the seventh classroom of the children's kingdom
 We are in the seventh hall. See, in the middle of it on a tablet on a white pillar is written in a clearly legible font: "Thou shalt not steal!" Here, at the first sight of this law-table, the question inevitably comes to everyone's mind:
 What can be stolen here, since no one owns any property, but everyone is just a usufructuary of what the Lord gives? This question is natural and has its good meaning, but it can also be posed with the same right on the world- body; for even on the earth body, all that is there is the Lord's, and yet men can steal from each other in every possible way.
 Could not one also ask and say: has the Lord not created the world equally for all men, and does not every man have the same right to all that the created world offers for the various pleasures? But if the Lord has certainly created the world not only for individuals, but for all, and therefore everyone has the right to enjoy the products of the world according to his needs, what good was this commandment by which man is obviously given the right to own, creating the possibility for theft? For where there is no mine and no thine, but merely a universal everything for all, then I would like to see the one who, with all his will, could steal something from his neighbor.
 Would it not have been wiser then, to abolish every right of ownership for all time, instead of giving the commandment by which a separate property right is dangerously granted? This commandment would therefore be completely dispensable, all property courts of the world would never have arisen, and people could easily live among themselves as true brothers.
 It must be remembered that the Lord gave this commandment through Moses just at a time when not one person had any of his own wealth among all the numerous children of Israel; for the gold and silver taken from Egypt, was the common property of the people under the supervision of their leader.
 But as far as clothing is concerned, it was extremely simple and so poor that a single garment in your present time would certainly not exceed the value of some poor cents. Not one of the Israelites had a supply of clothing, but what he wore was all he possessed.
 Then came this commandment. Surely the Israelite people had to ask each other with wide eyes: What should we steal from each other? Perhaps our children, yet everyone is in this present distressing situation content to have as few children as possible? Should we steal each other's pots? But what should we gain? Anyone who does not have a pot has the right to cook in the pot of his neighbor if he has something to cook. But if he has a pot, he will not have to seize another, so that he will have more to carry back and forth. It is truly unclear what we could steal from each other here. Each other's honor? We are all servants and laborers of one and the same Lord, who knows well the value of each person. If we also wanted to belittle each other, what would we achieve in the face of Him who always sees us through and through? So we do not know what we should do with this commandment. Should this commandment be valid for future times, should the Lord once want to grant each of us a separate property? If that is, then He should rather leave us as we are, and the commandment will abolish itself.
 See, so did the Israelite people occasionally reasoned in all seriousness, and in their position in the desert, they could not be blamed; because everyone was equal in riches and equal in reputation.
 But could not the present people, believing in the New Testament, raise their heads before the Lord and say: O Lord! Why then did You once give such a commandment, by which a special right of ownership was granted to men on earth, and because of this right of ownership an innumerable multitude of thieves, robbers, and murderers were formed? Therefore, abolish this commandment, that the army of thieves, murderers and robbers, and all sorts of deceivers, and a second army of world judges, who have ceased to be active in all manner charity, would stop their doing!
 I say here: The call can be heard and appears under this critical lighting as completely valid. How and why? Firstly, one can certainly expect nothing but the very best from God as the most loving Father. How could one possibly think that God, as the very best Father of men, wanted to give them a constitution which must make them unhappy, temporally and eternally?
 But if one must ascribe to God the supreme goodness, the highest wisdom, and thus omniscience, according to which He must know what fruit such a commandment will unfailingly bear, then one cannot help but wonder: Lord! Why did you give us such a commandment, why did we oftentimes become unspeakably unhappy because of it? Was it really Your will, or did You not give this commandment, but the people only added it later on because of their self-interest, for example, by isolating themselves from the general number of their brethren and then legitimising themselves in such a state to collect peculiar treasures, to help them rise more easily as rulers over all their poor brothers? See, all that can be heard, and nobody can deny it. On top of that, one has to sprinkle some grains of real frankincense on a human mind, at least during this time, if he found it worthwhile to critically illuminate the laws of Moses in this way. But who won anything in this review? Not the people and certainly not the Lord, because this criticism does not express the Divine love and wisdom.
 But how then shall this law be taken and understood, that it may appear as perfectly sanctified before God and to all men, that it would utter the highest Divine love and wisdom, and bear in itself the wisdom of the Lord for temporal and eternal bliss? Well, as it have been explained up till now, especially presently, it has indeed only caused mischief. Therefore, by the Lord's mercy, we want to reveal the true meaning of this commandment, that men should find in it their salvation, not mischief. But in order to accomplish this, we will first consider what must be understood by stealing.
CHAPTER 83 What does 'steal' mean?
 The fact that under the concept of "stealing" it was impossible at first to understand the unauthorized removal of the material possessions of another is clear from the fact that, especially at the time of legislation, no one from the Israelite people owned any property. Even when the people had moved into the Promised Land, their state constitution was ordered as such that no one could have full ownership in this land. But apart from that, property was communal as much as possible, and every poor Israelite, if he lived in the Divine order, could find everywhere the most hospitable reception and lodging.
 But if in this commandment meant by "stealing", the arbitrary and deliberate removal of the goods of another, then, as has been shown sufficiently clear in the course of this illustration, the blame would inevitably fall upon the legislator, thereby quietly procuring the industry and would also defend usury. For that must be obvious for everyone at first glance, if he is only capable of somewhat brighter thinking, that the right to property is then introduced as perfectly sanctioned and confirmed, as soon as one gives a law by which the property of each would be completely secured.
 On the other hand, how could one expect such a law from that legislator who spoke to His disciples with His own mouth: "Do not worry about what you will eat and drink and what you will clothe your body with, because that is what the heathen are after. But above all, seek the kingdom of God; everything else will be given unto you.
 The same legislator continues: "The birds have their nests, and the foxes their holes, but the Son of Man does not have a stone that He puts under his head!" On the other hand, we see His disciples even on a sabbath rubbing corn ears, and thereby obviously steal. But when the landlords complained about it, who got a reprimand and a very sensitive rebuke from the Great Lawmaker? You only have to look in the Book and everything will be clear to you.
 We again see the same Legislator once in a position to pay a toll. Did He reach into His own pocket? Oh, no, He knew that in the nearby lake a fish had swallowed a lost stater. Peter had to go and take the coin out of the throat of the fish held by the power of the Lord and pay the toll with it.
 But I ask: Does the finder have the right of ownership in any good find in whatever way? Did not the Great Lawgiver have to know - or did He not want to know - that what He had only the right to freely own only one-third of what He have found in fish, and that only after He made His find publicly or officially known? He did not do such. Accordingly, He apparently committed a double theft or, as much as it did, an embezzlement.
 Further, one might ask after the principles of law - assuming that few Jews fully knew who Christ actually was - who had granted Himself the right to have the known donkey taken from their owner, and then use it Himself at His own discretion.
 One can say here: He is the Master of all nature and everything anyway belongs to Him. That is correct, but how then does He speak in worldly terms, saying that the Son of man has no stone, and on the other hand He says that He did not come to abrogate the law, but to fulfill it to the dot.
 If we wanted to follow His story, we would still find many things where the Great Legislator, according to the present principles of property law and the comprehensive juridical explanation of the seventh commandment, has obviously transgressed these legal principles. What would happen to anyone who destroyed an owner's tree or destroyed a large herd of pigs and more? I think we have enough of the examples that make it abundantly clear that the Great Lawmaker has intended with this seventh commandment, a very different meaning than was later given to it by a greedy and selfish humanity.
 One can now say: This is now very clear and obvious, but the meaning He has connected it with, is still behind a dense veil! But I say: only patience! As we have until now properly illuminated the misconception of this commandment, the true meaning of this commandment will certainly be easy to find; for someone who can see in the night, will not be afraid that he will have too little light during the day.
 What does it mean then after all, in the actual truest sense: "Thou shalt not steal?" - In the true sense it means as much as:
 You should never abandon the Divine order, not put yourself out of it, and seize the rights of God.
 But what are these rights and what do they consist of? God alone is holy and all power is His alone! Whom God sanctifies Himself and gives him power, he rightly owns it; but he who sanctifies himself and seizes the Divine power in order to rule in the luster of selfishness and avarice, is in the true sense a thief, a robber and a murderer!
 Therefore, whoever is arbitrary and self-loving in whatever external appearances and deceptive means, be it earthly or spiritual, and rises above his brothers, it is he who transgresses this commandment. This is the sense in which this is taught to these children here, and it is shown in a practical way, that no spirit should ever arbitrarily use the power and might inherent in it, but only and at all times, in the Divine order.
 But one will say now: If so, then the well-known stealing and robbing is allowed. But I say: Only patience, the next episode shall bring everything into the clear. But for now let us settle this by knowing what is meant by stealing, and that the Lord has never established a right of ownership by this commandment.
CHAPTER 84 Comments on social issues
 It can now be asked, since the Lord never introduced a right of ownership, and therefore never gave any commandment by which one should specifically respect the accumulated fortune of so many stingy usurers, and that in contrast to a host of the very poorest people, - whether one then may steal; namely, what such "usurers" contrary to the Divine law, have accumulated? Because one takes away, according to earthly laws, the stolen items from a thief as soon as he is found. Should one then not have the right to take away from the most base thieves and robbers who transgressed against the Divine law, the accumulated riches and distribute them amongst the needy?
 According to the intellectual conclusion, none could not object to this demand; but the true man has higher powers in himself than his intellect. But what will these say to this intellectual endorsement?
 Let us ask our charity and our love of God. What does it say in our inmost, eternally living spirit out of God? It says nothing but what the Lord Himself has spoken, namely: "My kingdom is not of this world - and who loves his outer life, he will lose the inner; but he who flees his outer life and pays little attention to it, will keep his inner self." This is what the inner spirit speaks.
 Nowhere do we see an invitation to help ourselves from the goods of the rich. The Lord Himself says: "Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor." Likewise does He not command the rich young man to sell his goods, but only gives him friendly counsel and the promise of eternal life.
 Therefore, since we nowhere come across a commandment from the Lord, by which He had expressly commanded to somehow seize the wealth of the usurers, it is certainly as clear as day, that a true Christian has no right to disown the goods of the rich. Even the one who is in the greatest distress has no justifiable right to seize the goods of even the basest thief, but in the case of a great state of emergency, a whole people has the right to do so.
 Why then? Because then the Lord Himself appears among the people as a ruler and thus causes a just judgment for the insatiable usurers. Not even then should anyone, except in the highest emergency, allow himself to assassinate the usurers and the hard-hearted rich, but should only take from them as much of their most superfluous treasures as the people need to support themselves, to get themselves on their feet again to be able to peacefully acquire sustenance again.
 But the rich usurer should still be left so much that he does not suffer in the world; because that is his only reward for his work. The Lord does not want to punish anyone, but only reward everyone according to the nature of his activity.
 But since the rich and the usurer cannot expect anything after this earthly life, it is quite fair that he finds his reward there for his talent, where he worked.
 The Lord also will not judge a person completely in this world, so that there can still be a possibility for everyone to voluntarily turn from the world and return to the Lord. If everything were taken away from such a rich usurer, he would already be completely judged; for despair will take possession of him and an endless anger, in which he can never possibly enter the path of salvation. But if a sufficient fortune has been left for him, he is for the time being exposed to no earthly misery and does not appear completely unrewarded for his austerity; but secondly, in this condition, he is not yet completely judged, and he still can obey the counsel that the Lord has given to the rich youth, to thereby attain eternal life.
 But where such extreme action would be taken by a deeply impoverished people, it should never be done in a gruesome way; for as soon as this happens, the Lord no longer works with the people, and the people will not see their deeds blessed! For if they prevail today, they will be beaten again tomorrow, and one bloodbath will flow into the other! Man should never forget that all men are his brothers. He should always do what he does with a love-filled heart; He should never want to do anything bad to anyone, but only to do something good at all times, especially regarding the spiritual share of eternal life.
 If this is his purpose, then the Lord will bless his action, but on the contrary, curse it! For if the Lord, even though all authority in heaven and on earth is His, and He has no one to query what He does or does not do, does Himself not want to be an eternally deadly Judge, the less should any man on earth do something according to his ardent will.
 But woe to the people which rises without the utmost necessity against the rich and powerful! These will be bitterly punished for this act; because poverty is of the Lord. He who loves the Lord loves poverty too; the wealth and the well-being, however, are of the world and of Satan! He who seeks that which is of the world, and loves it, has taken Satan into himself from head to toe!
 Therefore, as long as any people can only be partly saturated once a day and still be able to sustain life, so long should it not rise. But when the rich and usurers have taken almost everything, so that thousands of poor people are evidently threatened with starvation, then it is time to rise and share the superfluous goods of the rich among themselves; for then the Lord wants the rich to be chastised to a great extent for their shameful self-love and greed.
 At the end of the treatise on this commandment, perhaps someone might ask whether the interest on borrowed capital is not, to a certain extent, contrary to the seventh commandment. Here I say: If in a state the interest rate is determined by law, then it is also permissible, according to this interest rate, to gather the interests of the rich; but if someone has lent necessary capital to a needy person, he should not charge any interest.
 If this poor man has helped himself with this capital to the extent that he is now bourgeois in his trade, he should be inclined to repay the borrowed capital to his friend. If he wants to pay the legal interest out of gratitude, the lender should not accept it, but he should remind the payer to give it to his poorer brothers according to his ability.
 But no one should lend capital to the poor, but what one gives them, should given them completely. That is the will of the Lord in this regard. He who does this, will love the Lord. Since we have thus touched everything concerning this commandment, we may at once go to the Eighth Hall, in which case we shall learn a commandment which in many respects will be like this seventh.
CHAPTER 85 The Eighth commandment in the eighth hall - The material shell as a means to lie
 We are in the eighth hall, and there we see on the round tablet, well known to us from all the earlier halls, clearly written: "Thou shalt not bear false testimony", saying as much as: Thou shalt not lie.
 This command sounds strange in the realm of pure spirits, for a spirit in its pure state is incapable of any lie. A spirit cannot speak anything but what he thinks, since the thought is already his word. A spirit in the pure state can therefore bring no untruth on his lips, because it is a simple being and can have no reserve in itself.
 The lie is therefore only possible for an unclean spirit when it covers itself with matter. But if a spirit, even of unclean quality, is free from its coarser envelopment, it cannot speak any untruth.
 For this reason, even the evil spirits envelop themselves with all sorts of coarse figures of guile in order to be able to lie in this wrapping.
 Thus the well-known "Satan" in Paradise had to envelop himself in the material form of a snake before the first pair of men, so that they could thereby become ambushed and then afterwards think differently and speak differently.
 For this sole reason, men on earth are able to lie as often as they will, because they have a hideaway in their bodies, and from there they can move the machine of the body in the opposite direction of what they think.
 Such, however, as noted, is not possible to the pure spirits. Although they can express themselves in correspondences when they communicate with earthly people, they not infrequently say something quite different from what the inner meaning of their speech represents. But that does not mean lying, but placing the spiritual truth in earthly images that correspond exactly to this truth.
 But we see that this commandment is of no use for the spirits, because they completely lack the ability to lie.
 But to whom in the afterlife does this commandment then apply? I know that you will soon be able find the answer and say: It applies to the spirits enveloped in matter, and requires of them to use their covering no differently than how their thinking is conceived in them, and act in correspondence to their purely spiritual state.
 But we know that this commandment, as well as all earlier ones, proceeds from God, as the Primordial Source of all spiritual things. As such, however, it cannot possibly have only material, and no spiritual validity.
 But in order to get to the basis of it, we have to discuss what is meant by "lying" or "giving false witness." What is the lie or a false testimony in itself? You will say: any untruth. But I ask: what is an untruth? And then somebody will soon be able to deal with the answer and say: Every sentence that a human being pronounces in order to deceive someone is an untruth, a lie, "a false testimony." It's all good on the outside, but not inside. We want to set up a small sample for it.
 Question: Can the will think? Every human being must deny such a thing by clearly having to say that the will behaves like the cattle in relation to the wagon. They indeed pull it vigorously; but where will it take the wagon without the thinking driver?
 Next question: Can the thought will? Let's go back to the wagon. In the best sense of the word, can the wagoner drive the heavy wagon without the power of the beasts of burden? Anyone here will say: Thousands of the most clever wagoners can set up all sorts of philosophical principles next to the heavily loaded wagon, and yet they will not, with all these splendid ideas, put the wagon in motion until they agree in their thoughts that an appropriate power should be put in front of the wagon.
 From this example we have seen that the will does not think, and that the thought can not will. But if thought and will are united, the will can only do what the thought leads it to do.
 But now I ask: If it is how it is, what is it in man who can lie? The will certainly not, because this is a something that always depends on the light of thought. Can the thought be a lie? Certainly not, it is simple and cannot share. Will the body be able to lie in man? How the body can lie, being a machine that is dead in itself, and only stimulated to activity by the thought and will of the spirit through the soul, would be very strange to know.
 I have just discovered a psychologist, and indeed from the class of spiritual dualists, who says: The soul of man is also a self-conscious thinking being and thinks partly natural and partly spiritual images. Thus, two kinds of thought may indeed be formed in it, namely natural and spiritual. It may therefore cover the spiritual in itself, but since the will of the spirit is also at its disposal, it can, instead of pronouncing the truth or the spiritual thought, express the natural, completely opposite thought than that of the spiritual truth. And if he does that, he lies or gives false testimony. What do you think, is this conclusion correct?
 This appear to be correct, taken from the external man's perspective; but he is nevertheless fundamentally wrong; for what kind of activity would result if, for the purpose of forward movement, one would harness the same number of horses of equal strength in front and to the back of it, and have drivers to steer both teams?
 As the car would never be moved from the spot, the same it would seem to be with one's life, if it would stand on two opposite life-principles. That would be just as much as plus 1 and minus 1, which adds up to zero.
 So there just have to one single living principle; but how can this lie and give false testimony?
 Either this principle, as proven, cannot lie and give false testimony at all, or the concepts of "lying" and "giving false testimony" has to be understood to be something fundamentally different, than what has hitherto been understood.
 Somebody would of course say: If the matter is to be taken this way, any falsehood known to us, every false oath, as well as every fraudulent word, is not to be regarded as sinful, but should be freely used. Well, I say: the objection would not be so bad, but according to your proverb: "Whoever laughs last laughs best," we shall reserve a similar pleasure for the conclusion.
CHAPTER 86 What is false testimony?
 But if we are able to disentangle this Gordian knot in a certain sense with one blow, let us immediately go into the discussion of the main concept of this eighth commandment.
 We know that the Lord gave every spirit a free will, and also a free thought was given to illuminate free will. This thought in spirit is in fact the vision and the light of the spirit, through which he can see things in the natural sphere.
 Besides this light, which every spirit has received particularly from God, he also has a second ability to receive an innermost, most holy light from God; but not through his eye, but through the ear, which is actually an eye. Certainly no eye for the reception of external appearances, which are produced by the almighty will of the Lord, but it is an eye for the reception of the purely spiritual light from God, namely the Word of God.
 You can see that from your still natural condition, if you pay only a little attention to how different this is, what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. Through your eyes you can only see natural images, but with your ears you can absorb rays from the innermost Divine depth.
 You can hear the language of the spirit in the harmony of sounds, or rather, you can already externally hear the secret forms of the innermost spiritual creation through your fleshly ears. How deeply backwards does the eye stand in comparison to the ear!
 See, it's the same with the spirit. By virtue of such a device he is capable of accommodating two things, namely the external pictorial and the intrinsically essential reality.
 In this double vision lies the secret of the free will.
 Every human being, be it purely spiritual or still enveloped in matter, naturally hangs between the external and the internal through this ability. He can therefore always see a countless number of external forms, but he can simultaneously absorb just as much of the inner, purely Divine truth.
 With the light from the outside, he grasps nothing of all that is seen, but merely the external form, and thus can be the creator of his thoughts in himself through the reception of these forms.
 With these thoughts, he can also set his freely disposable will in motion, as and when he wants.
 If he does not use the other eye of the inner Divine light, but is merely content with and deals only with forms, then he is a man who evidently deceives himself; for the forms are empty appearances for him as long as he cannot grasp them in their depths.
 But if a man who simultaneously also possesses the inner light he received from the Lord and beholds it, perceives the interior of the forms, but disguises it and testifies only to the outer forms differently than he does about its great importance which he perceives with the inner spiritual eye, which is the ear; see, this is when he gives a false testimony to the externally perceived forms.
 Here we have already foundationally discussed what it basically means to give a false testimony. In the main point is however once again, that it is important that man should not speak of Divine truth in any other way than he perceives it in himself.
 But with regard to the most inner things, the situation is as follows: love is equal to the inwardly perceived light of truth directly from God, and wisdom is equal to the radiating light from God through all infinite eternal spaces.
 When someone would possess the love, but would not practise it, but would, with his outer light and his divided will, continuously reach out more and more to the infinitely radiating rays, he becomes increasingly weaker, but because of his spirit fraying at all sides, he becomes increasingly bloated and increasingly less receptive for the inner, loving light of truth out of God.
 If this is the case, then such a person becomes ever more dissimilar to God, and thereby gives with every atom of his being, a fundamentally false testimony of the Divine essence, whose perfect symmetry he ought to have been.
 Therefore, he who hears the Divine word but does not follow it, but follows only that which captivates his outward eyes, and thus excites his sensual will, he gives with every step that he makes, with every word he speaks every movement of the hand he makes, a false testimony. Even if he wants to speak the purest Divine truth, the pure word of the Gospel, he lies and gives a false testimony to the Lord because he does not act according to the Word and the Truth.
 Such a person who prays and performs his devotion to God, but does not live according to the word of the Lord, is a liar, as long as he is warm and alive. His prayer is there but an external formula whose intrinsic value is lost altogether, because the inner Divine light is not used to illuminate and enliven the interior of this external form.
 It's just the same as if someone would look completely enraptured at a star. What good does all this delight and contemplation benefit him if he cannot regard the star in close proximity as a wonderful world? He resembles a starving person in front of a locked cupboard. He may still look at this bread-cupboard so yearningly and so adoringly, but will he be saturated with it? Certainly not. For as long as he cannot bite into the inside of the bread and absorb it into his stomach, all contemplation, worship, and delight from the bread-cupboard, will do him no good.
 But how can one open the bread-cupboard of true God-likeness and satisfy oneself? Certainly no other way than by using the innermost means in oneself and directing oneself to the truth received from God. Also, to use the external forms only for their intended practical purposes as far as one has found it to be identical with the innermost light and therefore as a Divine truth. As soon as that is not the case, everything that man does and endeavor, is a false testimony to the inner Divine truth and thus a gross lie to every fellow human.
 Therefore the Lord says, "He who prays, should pray in the Spirit and in truth," and, "If ye pray, go into your closet," and also: "Do not think what you will speak, for in the same hour it will be put into your mouth."
 Here, evidently, outer thoughts are indicated, which are therefore in themselves no truth, because they are thoughts; for the truth is inward, it motivates for action according to the Word of God, and is always manifested rather than being a subsequent flood of thoughts.
 Therefore should everyone also be guided by this inner truth and act accordingly. He will always more and more actively connect his thoughts with this inner light and thus come to inner unity and thus to the Divine likeness in which it then becomes forever impossible for him to be a liar.
 But that everyone who speaks differently than he thinks, and acts differently than he speaks and thinks, is a liar, is self-evident; for such a one is already buried in the very outermost, grossest matter, and has removed the whole Divine form from his spirit. As such will this commandment also be explained to the students in its innermost content. Knowing this, we may at once move on to the ninth room.
CHAPTER 87 Ninth hall - ninth commandment
 We are already in the ninth hall and look again at our round table, on which is written:
 You should not long for what is your neighbor's, neither for his house, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor his land, nor for everything that grows on it.
 If we look at this commandment, we must evidently lose ourselves in the same judgments and undergo the same criticism that we have already met in the seventh commandment. For here again there is talk of property, and according to it, one should not have any desire for what one or the other was legally externally appropriated to own.
 Who could not at once come back to the question and say: How could this commandment be given to the Israelite people in the wilderness, where there is no one who possesses a house, an ox, a donkey, nor any land or seed? One would have to imagine this property among the Israelite people. And at the most it could mean: If your neighbor imagines that he has something, then you should not imagine that you should have something similar, or even the imagination of your neighbor, to have it as if it were seriously your property or as if you want to actually own it.
 I think that not many critical judgments will be needed here to see the utmost airiness of such a command at first sight. A commandment must always be there only for some assurance of a fixed reality, the loss of which must be something every one of them must have. But what would an air-castle architect lose to another air-castle architect, who would take the unlawful audacity of his fellow air-castle builder seriously. I think the weighing of such enormous damage would require a very fine, even ethereally spiritual scale to measure. If, according to the opinion of a certain sect on earth, the Archangel Michael is seriously endowed with such instruments, I am firmly convinced that he certainly does not lack such a very delicate weight-measuring instrument.
 I have here only said this in order to accentuate the utter voidness of a purely imagined possession. If it is then so, then why such a commandment, which can certainly not uphold any security of the property of another, where no one has anything in the likeness of property, after which one should not desire, according to this commandment?
 But one will argue here and say: The Lord has foreseen that, over time, men will create a right of ownership among themselves, and in this regard has already made in advance a command by which a future human property is secured and no one has a mutual right to be allowed to disown the property of his neighbour in whatever way. That would be a nice conclusion! I think Divine love and wisdom could not easily be inflicted more dishonor than with such judgment.
 The Lord, who surely will advise every human against acquiring anything on earth; the Lord, before whom every earthly wealth is an abomination, should have made a commandment for the purpose and favor of greed, self-love, of usury and avarice, a commandment for the sure awakening of mutual envy?
 I think it will not be necessary here to spend any more words; for the absurdity of such an exegesis is too obvious to anyone's eyes to require a long and broad discussion.
 However, in order to make the case palpable for the blindest, I ask every law-abiding lawyer: What is the basis for the right of ownership? Who gave the first person the property right of a thing? Take for instance a dozen immigrants in an uninhabited land. They find it and settle there. According to which ownership and ownership certificate can they take possession of such a land and settle there as legitimate owners?
 I already know what they will say here: whoever comes first has the basic right. Well, I say, who then has more or less the right to the found land than the twelve immigrants? It will be said: Strictly speaking, the first instigator of the emigration, or the one who had at first seen this land from the deck of a ship, has the most right. Well, what advantage does the initiator have above the others? If they had not moved with him, he would certainly have stayed home. What has the first seer more than the rest? That he might have sharper eyes than the others? Should this advantage, which only benefits him, be a disadvantage to the others? That would be a rather unfair. So surely all twelve must have equal ownership of this found land.
 But what do they have to do to realize their equal ownership of this land? You will have to divide it into twelve equal parts. But who does not see the coming quarrels at this division of the first land pieces? For surely will A say to B: Why must I take possession of this part of the country, which in my judgment is obviously worse than yours? And the B will reciprocate for the same reason: I do not see why I should swap my land part for yours. And so we can let our twelve colonists divide the land for ten years, and we will not see that the division will be all right.
 But would these twelve agree among themselves and make the land a common property; can there then be a commandment to secure property among the twelve? Can one take away something from the other, if the whole country belongs to all, and thus also its products, all of which everyone can take as he pleases, without billing the other for it?
 In the first case one sees here that originally, a creation of property rights is not easily conceivable. To see that this really is the case, you only have to look to the first settlers of certain areas of your own country, like the so-called Herren-Kloster clergy, who were in a sense the first settlers of this region. If they would be content with division and considered it good, they would certainly not have formed a common good.
 In short, we can do what we want, but we cannot find any original ownership anywhere. And if somebody comes with his fundamental right, I ask whether one should kill the descendant at the moment of his appearance in the world, or let him slowly starve to death? Or should he be driven out of this country? Or leave him to the mercy of the landowners, but at the same time immediately protect them against him by means of the latest laws?
 I think it would be fair to ask on what grounds such a descendant can, from the moment of his arrival, be made a scapegoat with regard to the right of land ownership, while the first arrivals could not sin against each other in this? Which lawyer can prove such behavior to me as legally valid? I mean, one would only be able to prove this if you have a satan as a lawyer; for every man, who thinks only reasonably well and fairly, would find such a legal proof impossible.
 But I can already see that it will be said that in the first colonization of a country there can be no reciprocal property right between the colonists, especially if they have mutually compensated for the common property. But between colonisations, out of which came the first formations of states, the ownership right certainly occurs as soon as they have established each other's right of existence.
 Well, I say, if that is the case, then each colony must have original property rights. But how can they, since they only received a right of usufruct from the Lord, but no right of ownership?
 The right of use has its certificate in the stomach and on the skin. But where does the right of possession express itself, especially when one considers that every human being, whether native or foreign, carries in his stomach and on his skin the same Divine legal right of use as the native does? If one says: The right of ownership has its origin in the rights of use, then this sentence certainly removes any special fortune, because everyone has the same right of use. But if one reverses the matter and says: Ownership gives you first the right of use, because one cannot say anything other than the old legal word: "Potiori jus", which in other words means as much as: Kill so many usufruct owners by the power of your fist, that you alone can be complete master of a piece of land.
 Should some foreign usufruct owners still have the appetite to dispute your fought for possession according to their Divine right of use, then beat them all to death or use them, at least in a better scenario, as taxable subjects, so that they may, on your conquered possession, work for you in the sweat of their faces, that you may grant them their right of use according to your discretion. Step up whoever will, and grant me another right of possession; indeed I will surrender all my bliss to him, and I want to be made the most needy citizen on earth for it! Who, from the Divine side, can justify this war? What is he? Nothing but a most brutal coup d'état, taking the right of use from the people and forcibly introducing a right of possession, that is, to destroy the Divine right and to introduce a hellish one in its place.
 Who then could expect a law from God which would abolish the original Divine Law of Utilization, which was clearly documented in everyone's being, and replace it with divine power and authority, with a law of hellish right of property? - I think the absurdity of this assertion is even bright and clear for a completely blind man and can be grasped with gloved hands.
 But from this it is clear that this law must certainly have a different meaning from that of men, where it only secures possession. As Divine law, it must also be valid in all heavens from the depths of the Divine order. But where does anyone in heaven own houses, oxen, donkeys and fields? Heaven is full of usufructuary rights, and the Lord alone is the owner. We therefore want to move on to the right meaning of this law.
CHAPTER 88 Reflections on the ninth commandment
 However, before we give the full explanation, it will be necessary to make a few remarks in order to shut up the mouths of many juridical wolverines and outraged international law publishers. For they would be able to derive the right to ownership from the collection rights, by which they would apparently be able win the case against us. Therefore, we want to entrench ourselves on this point.
 However, it is not to be denied that everyone must have the right of collection before any rights of use. Because, before someone picks up and prepares something with his hands and his strength, he cannot assert his right of use. That's right, before anyone wants to put an apple in his mouth, he has to pick it from the tree or the ground.
 For the "collection right" he also has several Divine documents. Certificate No.1 is the eyes. With these he has to look where something is. Certificate No.2 is the feet. With these he has to move to where something is. Certificate No.3 is the hands. With these he has to reach out and take something. So according to this deed, the man has before the Lord the lawful right to collect as an undeniable property.
 But could it not be said here: is not the collected material then completely the property of the one who, according to his Divine right of collecting, has collected it for his use? Now does another have the right to judge his hands or desire by what his neighbor has gathered? Because one right obviously depends on the other. If I have the natural right of use written by the Creator in the stomach and on the skin, then I must also have the right to collect, because without the right of collection, I cannot satisfy the right of use.
 But what good is the collection right if it does not secure the bite I bring to my mouth? Because, since everyone has the right to take the apple, which I have picked up with my hand according to my collection right, out of my hand, because he is too comfortable to pick one up, I must obviously forgo my right of use and must starve, whether I like it or not.
 It is thus necessary that the collection right would at least demand the property right regarding what one has collected, otherwise no right of use could honestly be reasonably thinkable.
 The right to collection is connected with the right of preparation and production is combined with the collective right. If I would not be allowed to assert the full right of ownership over what I have prepared and produced, then all activity is in vain, and I am compelled, firstly, to consume all the edible things in secret, and, secondly, to always go about naked. Because if I make myself a garment and another, which is too lazy for this work would take it away from me according to his right of use, then the question is: what would be the case with my right to use?
 If I build a house in a colder area and have no ownership rights according to the right to collect and produce, then the next best company can drive me out of the house and exercise my own right of use in my place.
 From this, however, it can be seen that, with the natural right of acquisition, a certain prerogative of property rights should be granted to the actively producing person, without which such a property right, taken and considered as is, the existence of a human society is not even remotely conceivable.
 If, however, the right to collect and prepare are admitted as completely valid, then a piece of land, on which I have cultivated a seed, like a tree which I have planted and refined, must also have been prerogatively considered to be my property.
 But ask further: who grants me such a right at the planting of a colony? The matter is easy to explain. The colonists choose from their midst one void of greed and wise leader. They grant him the rights to divide and distribute and thus also the responsibility to protect, under mutual oath swearing, as insurance for the maintenance of and compliance to his decree. Because of this assurance, one or the other rebel would be called to order by these order-abiding brothers on behalf of the leader. The how and the means does not matter, for these can and must be first determined according to the degree of the rebellion and then executed.
 Who does not immediately see the submission and the first monarchical foundation of a state? Also, who does not also see that, as soon as the right to collect, and the right of acquisition and preparation is systematically connected with a prerogative right of property, nobody can be limited to the right of collection, acquisition and preparation on his property granted to him. On the contrary, the chief executive must only endeavor to encourage his subjects to collect and produce as much as possible on their possessions. And the more one acquires by diligence on his property, the more pleasant a situation he creates for himself, and the less limited becomes his rights of use.
 However, once this right of ownership has been ascertained to secure the right of collection, acquisition and use, this right inevitably leads to the right of hatred; for without this right, no one is the rightful owner of the property he has received from the leader.
 But this hate-law first requires a precise survey of the property. Once the borders have been determined, only then can any owner make use of the hate rights or the rights of defense of his property.
 But this hate right is not feasible without authorized guardians. So we have to set up military men, who have the unlimited right to secure everyone's borders. You must therefore have the right of execution, that is, a criminal or punishment right. But who should guide these military men? Certainly none other than the head of the entire colony.
 Here, therefore, we have necessarily the emergence of the military state, but at the same time also the determination of an unlimited power of the leader, who can now already command the military men and sanction his commandments.
 Have we brought it so far, who can still stand there and say: The present state constitutions are not based on this Divine right? Yes, it is all right for a critic, only he cannot yet understand the overarching right of ownership of the monarch. But I say: If one has proved the former in such a way, which was far more difficult, then the right of ownership of a monarch beside it can be proved with a sleeping hood on. We shall see.
 If, on the part of the leader's executive wisdom, the right of property is properly in place and the leader has an army at his disposal, capable of guarding the colonists' possessions, does the leader not have a twofold right to say to the colonists: I am in your midst, have provided for you through my wisdom, and you have made me the leader because you have recognised me as the least greedy man among you.
 Therefore, I have fairly distributed the land among you, and now protect your property with my wisdom and with the wisely-led military men. But in the distribution I have completely forgotten myself due to my lack of greed. But you will surely see, if you would have need of my continual wise direction, that I cannot live off air. After that, what am I supposed to have for my maintenance in order to live? I have no time for collecting, because I have to use my time to constantly reflect on how your property needs to be continually secured.
 So you will see that a faithful worker is worth his reward. That's why I'm declaring that you agree to support me out of your secured supply. I can claim this from you even more rightfully, since the preservation of your mutual right of ownership depends only on my consideration. In addition to my protection, however, the support of the army, which secures your property, is also necessary, for they too, do not have time to work, by keeping your borders in good order.
 Your own salvation and well-being must therefore make it clear to you that I and the army are unlike you, unable to work, and that each of you therefore should agree to pay me a certain amount of tax for his own benefit.
 This announced demand seems completely legal and reasonable to all colonists, and they are content with the regulation. In this way, the chief executive has already asserted his first natural, if not supreme, yet co-owned right of all the settlers.
 But there is such a small gap between co-ownership and the overruling right of ownership that even the smallest child can get a hold of this concept. The boss just needs to say: My dear colonists! It is not unknown to you that another colony has settled over against us. In order to protect us from it, you must give me the unqualified right in everything, so that I can act as your leader in case of emergency, as the main owner of your property, and in such a case can secure the external borders according to my wise insight. I must have the right, in your name, for your own benefit, to negotiate with a foreign nation if it would be more powerful than us.
 You should also, being colonists who is in need of my guidance, understand what is easy to understand, that I as your leader, must have a permanently built place in your midst in which I can protect and preserve myself, above all for your preservation. But it is not enough for my well-justified security that you build me a dwelling-house, but in order to build my dwelling house, other dwellings have to be erected in order to accommodate the army, who are only dependent on my leadership. In other words, you must build for me in your midst a permanent home (residence) in which I am fully secure, both from strangers and from your own possible attacks.
 Here we see with great clarity how the monarch necessarily declares himself the landlord of a country. But that was not enough. We want to hear other reasons as well, from the mouth of the founder himself, for he continues to speak:
 My dear colonists, the indisputable reason for the establishment of a permanent place of residence for me in your midst, I have shown to your insight. So you have the first reason. But listen to me: The land is vast; it is impossible for me to be everywhere myself. Therefore I want to audit you and I will distribute out of you the wisest ones as my officials and deputies all over the country. These proxies then you will then owe the same obedience as unto me, for their own benefit.
 If, however, one or the other subjects under my wise management has been accused of alleged injustice by these my chosen officers, then shall everyone have the right to bring his complaint to me, where he can then be assured that the case will be attended to with perfect justice. On the other hand, for your own benefit, in order to prevent all disputes, you must give me the most faithful and conscientious assurance that you willingly follow my final judgment without the slightest further refusal. In the opposite case, for the good of all, I must also be assured of the indisputable right by all, to deter a rebellious person to defy my final judgment by means of a chastising force in order to obey my will. If all this is done in order, then you will become a truly happy people!
 Here we see a second step, derived from all former things: Firstly, the sole rule, and secondly, the sole possession of the whole country. And so, in this way, we would have irrefutably displayed the first reason, which was completely grounded in the nature of the matter. This reason can be called the natural, derived from human society. But somebody will say that all this is in and of itself just as true to nature, as surely and certainly the man needs the eyes to see and the ears to hear. We look at these colonists, who are still very crude, and find them to be most zealous and fully obedient to their leader.
 Yet, exactly from this obedience, the colonists begin to feel increased fear for their leader. And in this fear, one and the other soon ask each other: why is it that among all of us this man is so clever, and we are all to be regarded as true fools compared to him? This question, so small and inconspicuous as it appears at the beginning, is of extraordinary importance, and in its answer is expressed the inviolable official signature to the autocracy and of the sole property right of a monarch. That sounds weird, some might say in advance. Have just a little patience, and we'll see it in another light right away!
CHAPTER 89 The inner sense of the ninth commandment
 See, until now we have seen everything develop from the natural ground; but up till now there has been no higher divine sanction on any ground, by which man alone on earth, especially in his simple state of nature, is led to the inviolable consideration of all that has been imposed upon him by his leader as a duty.
 The wiser such a primitive monarch initially guides his people, and the more the people are persuaded that the leader is really wise because of his successes, the more they will begin to ask each other: wherefrom is his wisdom and wherefrom our stupidity? The people still know very little or nothing about God, but the leader still has more or less good ideas about Him.
 What should he now do, if the people who are naturally organized as well as possible, approach him now with such questions from all sides? He summons the more capable, proclaiming to them a supreme being who has created everything and directs everything. Then tell them, in answer to their varied questions, that he receives the wisdom to guide directly from this supreme being. He shows them, with the greatest ease, the undeniable existence of a supreme, all-creating, sustaining, and governing deity, and that this deity only bestows the deep wisdom to whom he has designated to be the beatific leadership of the people.
 This then means something like: "By the grace of God," or as with the Romans: Favente Jov. " Once this step has been taken, the sole ruler and the sole owner is ready to go, and now sits perfectly safe in his center of power, supported by a powerful natural, and even more powerful spiritual necessity.
 Anyone who has thoroughly gone through all this must finally say: Surely not one atom of this can be criticised, because everything is so closely connected with the first natural-legal records of every human being that one would not dare to split the thinnest thread in order to destroy a happy human society down to its innermost foundations. You can take away anything you want, the defect will soon be visible in the first natural principles of every human being.
 But if, then, the matter is as such, it follows as clear as sunshine from that, that the Lord of Heaven and the earth, through this ninth commandment, has set up nothing but the complete safeguarding of the particular property for the maintenance of the first principles of natural law. And so there can be no other meaning behind the commandment than what His words signify.
 For if one wants or is in a position to subject this commandment to any other meaning, then one abrogates the main reason of the first natural-law bourgeois association sanctioned by a supreme being. Ownership, when lifted, necessarily removes the original documents of each person, and no one can collect and make anything more. If he cannot do that, his stomach and his skin go under, and man will be worse off than any animal. With the removal of the literal meaning of this commandment, one takes away in advance every leading chief, and humanity stands in its first wild and chaotic state of nature, sunken beneath the animal kingdom.
 That's right, my dear friends and brothers. So far we have seen that through the representation of the inner spiritual sense, the external, natural sense in its just external effect has nowhere been violated. We have also seen that through the ignorance of the inner sense, a given commandment is observed with either very great difficulty, not seldom only for a third part, or not at all.
 But if a commandment is recognized according to the inner senses, then the natural observance results automatically, especially when someone puts a good seed into the soil. Then the fruit-bearing plant will develop out of it, without the human being having to apply any manipulation to it at all.
 And so it is with this commandment. If it is recognized and observed inwardly, then everything external, which touches on the sense of the letter, is itself of the good Divine order. But if this is not the case, one sticks only to the external senses, then one thereby negates all legitimate documents of man. The rulers become tyrants and the subjects miserly and usurers. The skin of the gentle is stretched over the military drum or the good-natured donkeys of subjects become the malicious tools of the powerful and usurers.
 The consequences of this are full-scale uprisings, revolutions, state upheavals and destruction, mutual bitterness among peoples, and then protracted bloody wars, famine, pestilence, and death.
 What, then, is the meaning by whose observation all peoples must find their indestructible temporal and eternal happiness? In short, it is as follows:
 Respect one another out of true, mutual brotherly love, and do not envy one another, if one would be given more grace by Me, the Creator, because of his greater love. The one who received grace, however, should let the benefits coming from it benefit all his brothers as much as possible, and so you will thereby establish among you an eternal life-bond, which no power will ever be able to destroy!
 Who does not immediately recognize that in this explanation of the commandment, not a tick of the literal sense is disregarded. And how easy is this commandment, of course, to think about when one observes it spiritually. Because he who respects his brother in his heart, will also pay respect what he collected and produced. The spiritual observation of this commandment avoids all usury and all exaggerated selfishness, but only find its sanctioned representative or advocate only in those adhering only to the literal sense. A little review will put this all in the clearest light.
CHAPTER 90 Blessings of wise limitation
 In everything, as well as in the commandment, it is by no means stated as sinful or faulty in spirit or nature, for someone to acquire the things collected and made with his hands for his needs; and to such a degree that his neighbor do not have the right to deny him such ownership in whatever way. On the contrary, everyone in it finds only a perfect guarantee of their legally acquired property.
 But in everything that is said, as in the commandment itself, a wise limitation in the right to gather is offered to everyone. But that the commandment seeks to achieve this in the natural sense, and is meant to be like this even from the Divine order, is most easily visible from the primordial property birthright of every human being. But how? We shall immediately see.
 How much does the first legal expert in man, the stomach, need according to fair measure? This can certainly be determined by every moderate eater. Suppose a moderate eater needs three pounds of food for the day, which is easily calculated over three hundred and sixty-five days. This is therefore a natural need of a human being. He is allowed to collect this quantity every year. If he has wife and children, he can gather for each person the same quantity, and he has acted completely in accordance with his natural rights. A strong eater, who has to do particularly heavy work, is allowed to collect twice as much.
 When this is generally observed, the earth will never have to speak of need. For the way the Lord have organized the fertile land area, twelve thousand million people can make an abundant and proper living with proper cultivation and distribution of the land. At present there are hardly any over one thousand million people on earth, and among them there are seven hundred million people living a life of great need.
 What is the reason for that? Because the very conditions of this Divine law, which is founded in the nature of every human being, are not brought into living practice.
 Let's go further. How tall a man is, and how much skin he needs to cover, can also be easily measured. But every human being is allowed to obtain a fourfold covering of the skin according to the season. This is the natural standard for the accumulation of the clothing materials and their preparation. But I want to add once again so much to the upper clothing, and four times more to the underwear, and that for the sake of a clean change.
 If this measure is applied, there will be no naked human on the whole surface of the earth. But if tremendous garment factories are built on earth, which buy the raw materials with enforced shameful prices, then make an innumerable quantity of more luxurious than useful clothes, and sell them mostly at ridiculous prices to paltry humanity, as well as to many affluent ones, then in the course of ten years, especially the women, people are provided with more than a hundred-fold change of garb - thus, natural proportion is utterly disturbed and of a thousand million people at least six hundred million have to walk around naked. Let's go on. How big does a house really need to be to comfortably accommodate a couple of people with family and necessary servants? Go to the countryside and see for yourself, and you will surely come to the realization that a just and comfortable accommodation does not require castles and palaces with a hundred rooms.
 Anything exceeding such proportions, is against the order of God and therefore against His command.
 How big must a property be? Take a mediocre producing country. On this, with moderate work, and on a surface area of one thousand square klafter, even with a mediocre yearly harvest, a perfectly sufficient provision for a whole year can be produced. With good soil, half of that is enough, with bad soil, the amount per person can be doubled. The size of land accredited for possession according to natural law, depends on the number of people living in a family house. But we want to be generous to the utmost extent and give twice as much for each person and determine it as being fully approved of God as a natural law. Even if the lands were distributed in this way, more than seven thousand million families on the surface of the earth could also find their fully secured land property.
 But the present state of affairs on the earth regarding basic distribution is that the land belongs to a few landowners. All the rest of the people are either co-owning, under lease or leased out, and the vast majority of the people on earth do not have a stone to support their heads.
 Therefore, anyone who possesses more than this given measure, possesses it against the Divine and natural law, and, such a possessor perpetually sins against this commandment. He can redeem this sin only by possessing the greatest possible degree of generosity, and in a manner of speaking only as a guardian, to work his too-large possession for a fair number of homeless people. But how this is foundational to this commandment, we will see in the second point of this reflection.
CHAPTER 91 Sin against the Divine order of the ninth commandment
 Secondly, this commandment itself expresses the wise limitation of the right to collect and produce quite obviously and palpably. If we place the relative primordial property from the first point of observation adjacent to it, the ninth commandment points precisely to this by expressly forbidding to have a desire for what is the other's.
 So what is the other? The other is that the Lord have created just as much ground on the earth for the sole maintenance of man as there is given to him by his measure of natural law, derived from his needs. Anyone who collects and manufactures more than this measure, in fact, even in the first degree, sins against this commandment, for in this commandment even the yearning desire is already shown to be criminal.
 In the second degree, the lazy sins against this commandment, who is too lazy to exercise his original right of collecting, but only with the desire to gain possession of what another constitutionally collected and manufactured.
 We see from this that one can thus make oneself guilty against this commandment in a twofold manner, namely firstly, by an exaggerated want of collecting and processing, and secondly, by omitting it altogether. For both cases, however, the command is the same as the wise restriction. In the first case it restricts exaggerated collecting and processing greed, in the second case laziness, with the intention of finding the just middle road; because it expresses nothing else than the respect united with love for the natural needs of the neighbor.
 But one can oppose here and say that there are presently many rich and wealthy people who, with all their wealth and riches, do not possess a square foot of country property. They have come into a wealth of money through lucky trading speculation or inheritance and now live on their legal interest. What to do about these? Is their property according to the Divine right of natural law or not? For by their possession of money they do not restrict human property by refusing to buy anything anywhere, but they lend their money to good places against the legal interest; or they make other permissible exchange transactions and thereby increase their capital share by many thousands of guilders annually, where they do not need the hundredth part of their annual income for their good food, according to the right of natural need. But they are not uncommonly very just, sometimes even charitable people. Do these too, fail against our ninth commandment?
 I say here: It does not matter, whatever it is, for a person to possess beyond his need, or to have too much money or too much land. It is all the same. For if I have so much money that I can buy myself a few square miles of land as estate property, that is just as much as if I had really made so much land for this money. On the contrary, it is even worse and much more contrary to Divine order. For whoever possessed so much land property, would necessarily have to be able to provide a living for a few thousand people, since he personally would not be able to handle such a large land property.
 But consider a man who does not have property, but so much money that he could almost buy a kingdom with it. He can manage this money profitably only in the strictest case, or he needs at the most some accounting assistants, who will receive from him, in comparison with his income, a very moderate salary, often hardly enough to satisfy their needs, especially if they have a family.
 But no such money-owner can excuse himself with the way he has made the money, whether by speculation, by winning a lottery, or by inheritance. In any case, he stands before God like a receiver next to a thieve. How, you may ask?
 What does becoming rich through lucky speculation means? That is, and means, nothing other than acquiring for himself the legitimate merit of many usuriously, thereby depriving many of the legitimate merit and appropriating it for himself. In this case, a man who has become rich through lucky speculation, is a barbarous thief. In lottery winnings, he is the same, because he acquires what is to be used by many, for himself. In the case of an inheritance, however, he is a stooge who also takes possession of the unlawful property of his ancestors, who could only claim it by the two aforementioned ways.
CHAPTER 92 Usury, the most damnable before God
 But one will say: This provision sounds strange; For what can the heir have for inheriting the property of either his parents or other wealthy relatives? Should he, in such a transfer, calculate the natural portion, take from the heir only as much as that portion, and then give the other part to whom? Or should he accept all this fortune, but accept only the part of nature which he deserves as his property, or manage the great surplus himself to support lazy idlers, or perhaps surrender such surplus to charity organizations, or the directors of charitable institutions?
 This question is only worth a monosyllabic answer. Are the Divine law and the law of the state, or the Divine wisdom and care, and the secular state politics and so-called diplomacy, one and the same? What does the Lord say? He says: "Everything that is great in the world is an abomination before God!
 But what is greater in the world than an usurped state power, which, viewed from the Divine side, never submits to the Divine counsel, but only to its secular state wisdom, which consists in politics and diplomacy; and uses their powers for their own exploitative and consumptive welfare?
 But if it is abominable and disgraceful if any man deceives only one, two or three of his brothers, how much more abominable before God it must be when men know how to crown and anoint a man with all their might, and then under such coronation anointing, deceive entire peoples in all imaginable ways to their own revelry advantages, either by the so-called state wisdom, or, should it not do, then with cruel open force!
 I think that from this little sentence, one can almost grasp the extent to which the rights of most of the present states handle their affairs counter to the Divine. I also think that when the Lord said to the rich youth: "Sell all your goods and distribute them among the poor, then follow Me, and you will prepare for yourself a treasure in heaven", hopefully this statement will suffice to learn what kind of distribution the earthly rich man, if he wants to reap the kingdom of God, should do with his wealth. If he does not do that, then he must ascribe it to himself when the same verdict which the Lord has pronounced over the young man who has become sad: that a camel would be able to get through the eye of a needle easier than would a rich man into the kingdom of heaven! Of course, the circumstance must be taken into account that the Lord here has pronounced such a highly regrettable judgment over a young man, who was also certainly an heir.
 One might well ask: Why did "a rich young man" have to appear here, and why should not some old speculator have appeared before whom the Lord had made known His eternal displeasure with all earthly wealth? The answer is very close: the young man was not yet a diehard wealth manager, but he was still at the point where such a youth usually does not properly appreciate the earthly wealth yet. For just this reason he could at least approach the Lord for a short time in order to hear from him the right direction and the right use of his wealth. It is only when he realizes the Divine will, that he then falls away from the Lord and returns home to his riches.
 So the youth had this privilege, as a youth who was not yet liable, to approach the Lord. But the already inveterate, old-aged rich landlord, speculator and usurer, stand as camels behind the eye of a needle, through which they would have to squeeze in order to reach the youth like the young man. So it is no longer granted to such a rich and given, like unto the young man, to meet the Lord. For these however, the Lord has unfortunately cited another very important example in the story of the "rich glutton." I do not need to tell you more.
 But whoever of you can think only a little, will with the greatest ease find out that no human vice is as contemptible to the Lord of heaven and all worlds as wealth acquired through usury and its usual consequences. For no other vices do we see the Lord of life and death very clearly opening up the abyss of hell as with this one.
 Be it manslaughter, adultery, harlotry and the like, in all this, no one on earth has seen the Lord condemning him to hell. But this sin of usury, He has punished with word and deed in the most urgent manner, both with the priesthood and with every other privileged classes!
 Who can prove to the Lord, in the face of all other human offenses, that He has raised His almighty hand over such a sinner? But the money-changers, pigeon-merchants, and such kind of speculators, had to submit to being beaten and chastised with a tortuous rope from the temple by the omnipotent hand of the Lord Himself!
 But do you know what that means? This true evangelical endeavor will say no more and no less than that the Lord in heaven and of all worlds is the greatest sworn enemy of this vice. In every other, His Divine love speaks of patience, forbearance, but over this vice, He pronounces His anger and wrath!
 For here he hinders entrance to Him through the well-known eye of the needle, evidently opens up the abyss of hell, and shows in it a truly damned one, speaks up frightfully against the rule-hungry and greedy Pharisees, clearly showing them how fornicators, adulterers, thieves and other sinners are more likely to enter the kingdom of God than they.
 Finally, He even takes a chastening weapon in the temple and ruthlessly drives out all the speculators of any kind and calls them murderers of the Divine kingdom, turning the temple, which represents the Divine kingdom, into a dungeon of murder.
 We could cite several such examples from all those who could be inferred that the Lord is the supreme enemy of this vice. But for whoever is able to think reasonably, this will be enough. On this very occasion we may take a brief look at our ninth commandment, and we shall see from this view that the Lord has not limited the desire in any other human relation, nor in any other self-forbidden opportunity and activity, as in the case of this most detestable opportunistic usury.
 Everywhere He expressly forbids only the activity, but here already the desire, because the danger which arises therefrom for the spirit is too great. It totally withdraws the spirit from God and turns him completely to hell. You can also see this from the fact that every other sinner feels repentance for a sinful deed, while the rich speculator celebrates and triumphs over a happy successful speculation!
 This is the true triumph of hell, and the prince of hell, therefore, seeks by preference to foster in mankind in every possible way, love for the wealth of the world, because he knows that they are filled with this love, are most repugnant unto the Lord and that they receive the least mercy! - I do not need to tell you more about that.
 For everyone who will heed these words deeply, because they are the eternal irrefutable Divine truth! And you can know it to be true and believe it, because not one syllable in it is too much, rather you can assume that there is far too little said. But everyone should remember this: the Lord will employ every possible means at every possible occasion, before he will let anyone perish, but against this vice, He will do nothing except open the abyss of hell, as He have said it in the gospel. All this is certain and true, and through this, we have come to know the true meaning of this commandment. And I say once more: Let everybody take what is said here to heart! - And now nothing more. Here is the tenth room, and so we enter it!
CHAPTER 93 The tenth commandment in the tenth hall in the kingdom of the children
 We are in it and see on the tablet written in clear font: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife!"
 It hardly needs to be mentioned that this commandment here in the pure realm of the spirit, and especially in the realm of children, surely sounds a bit strange to every thinker. For the moment, these children do not know in the least what a married woman is, for instance, and secondly is marriage between the sexes absolutely not the norm or the way at all, especially in the realm of the children. In the kingdom of spirits does this commandment appear to have, according to this consideration, no application.
 But it will be said: Why would the Lord not have given one out of ten commandments which corresponds only to earthly conditions? For on earth, the connection between man and woman is customary and is therefore an old-established relationship based on the Divine order, which without a commandment, cannot remain in the Divine order. So one can assume here that among the ten commandments, the Lord has given one merely for the maintenance of the order of an external, earthly relationship, so that by maintaining this order, a spiritual, inner, superior order is not disturbed.
 Well, if that is so, then I say: this commandment is then nothing but a highly superfluous repetition of the sixth commandment, which in any case is quite the same. For even here, in its complete course, everything is represented as forbidden, which has only some relation to fornication, whoring, and adultery, both in the physical, and especially in the spiritual sense.
 If we weigh this a little against each other, it follows that this commandment is not good for heaven, and that it is a superfluous addition to the sixth commandment.
 But I already see someone saying: Ha! Dear friend, you are mistaken. This commandment, forbidding the very thing that is forbidden in and of itself, which is prohibited in the sixth commandment, is nevertheless quite peculiar to itself and higher and deeper than the sixth commandment. In the sixth commandment, evidently, only the real gross act is forbidden, but in this tenth, the desire, and the desire as the all-time root-cause for action. For one often see that especially young husbands usually have beautiful young wives. How easy it is for another man to forget his wife, who may not be beautiful, and to gape at the beautiful wife of his neighbor, awakening an ever greater urge and an ever greater desire for his neighbor's wife, and commit adultery with her.
 Well, I say, looking at this commandment from this point of view, there are no more than a half-legion of ridiculous and foolish things, by which the Divine nature of such a sublime commandment gets dragged through the filthiest dust and the most stinking sludge of the worldly wits and minds of the people. For the sake of example and explanation, we will, of course, cite some ridiculousness, so that it will be clear to everyone how shallow and external this commandment was understood, explained, and acted upon, for over eight centuries.
 A man should therefore have no desire for the wife of his neighbor. Here it can be asked: What kind of longing or desire? Because there are a lot of honest and well-tolerated longings and desires that a neighbor can address to the wife of his neighbor. But in the commandment it is absolutely necessary to have "no desire". As a result, only the two neighbors may be in conversation with each other, but each other's women should always be looked upon with contempt. This is no more and no less than an almost Turkish conception of this Mosaic commandment.
 Further, if one considers the matter literally and materially, surely one must literally take everything literally, and not take a few words literally and a few words spiritually; which would be just the same as if someone would wear a pair of trousers with on one leg black and the other a very subtle transparent white leg. Or, as if to claim that a tree had to grow such that half of its trunk would appear with bark and the other with no bark. According to this consideration, the tenth commandment prohibits only the desire for the wife of the "neighbor". Who can that be in the literal sense? Nobody else but either the nearest neighbors or close blood relatives. Literally, therefore, one should have no desire only for the wives of these two neighbors; the wives of distant inhabitants of a district, and especially the wives of foreigners, who are certainly no neighbors, could be demanded without further ado. For such a person will understand without mathematics and geometry that in comparison to the nearest neighbor, one living a few hours away, or even a foreigner, cannot be reckoned for a neighbor or a close relative. See, that too is Turkish, because they hold this commandment only towards Turks, towards foreign nations, they have no law. - Let's proceed.
 I ask: is the wife of my neighbor exempt from this attitude of the Divine law? For the law only states that a man should have no desire for the wife of his neighbor. But there is no syllable of the commandment that a randy woman should have no desire for her nearest neighbor. In this way, the women is evidently given a privilege to seduce the men they see without hesitation. And who will forbid them to do such a thing, since there is no commandment from the Lord in this case? That, too, is from Turkish philosophy; for the Turks know from the literal sense of the Bible that the women are free from such laws. Therefore, they lock them up so they cannot go outside and make other men lust after them. If a Turk permits a walkabout to one of his wives, she must make her appearance so unflattering, that she would even inspire respect in a bear. She is only allowed to show her charm in front of her husband. Who can raise an objection against it, as if such could not be recognized from the literal sense of this commandment? Obviously, this ridiculousness has its undeniable cause in the commandment itself. But let's go on.
 Cannot the nearest neighbors have grown-up daughters or other pretty maids? According to the tenth commandment, is it lawful or not to have desire for the neighbor's daughters or other girls, even as a husband? Apparently, such is permitted, for in the sixth commandment, there is no talk of desire, but only of the act. But the tenth commandment only forbids the desire for the wife, so the desire for the daughters and any other pretty girls of the neighbor is permitted without argument. - Look; Here again we have a Turkish interpretation of the law. But in order to make the matter clear as daylight we want to cite a few such ridiculous things.
CHAPTER 94 Who is the 'you' in the tenth commandment?
 The law says: "Thou shalt not desire thy neighbor's wife." - Is not it possible to ask: Who is actually "you"? Is he a married man, a widower, an unmarried young man, a youth, or is it also a woman to whom one can also say: Thou shalt not do this or that? It will be said here that this is primarily intended for the male sex, regardless of whether single or married, and that women may incidentally also be included and should not have the right to entice and desire other men, all of that is self-evident.
 But I say however: If men are even able to determine their statutes, and in their very statutes they make fine and clever dispositions for every possible case, then one cannot blame the Lord as if He had given inconclusive laws out of ignorance, or, like a cunning lawyer, He would have put his laws on paper as such that people would inevitably have to sin one way or the other.
 I think that to come to such a conclusion at the closer consideration of this seemingly indefinite law, would be a bit gross. It is therefore much more feasible to conclude that this law, like all others, is a most definite one. It has been so distorted and misinterpreted over time, and especially in the period of the hierarchy that has arisen, that by now, no man knows the actual, true meaning of this law. And all that happened because of sheer greed. In the true sense of the word, this law would never have given a penny to the priesthood, but in its covert sense, it gave rise to all sorts of taxed mediations, dispensing, and divorces; and of course in the earlier days far more than now. For then it was the case that two or more neighbors could not protect themselves against the transgression of this law. How come?
 Of course, they had to conscientiously confess several times a year, out of great fear of hell. Then they were diligently examined on this point, and even in the case of if some neighbour would give a beautiful young woman at the side of a neighbour even a thought, a glance, or even a conversation,it was explained to be an adulterous sin against this commandment, which was usually accompanied with a sacrificial penalty. If the approach was a little closer, condemnation was complete, and the one who had sunk down to Hell on the pair of balances of St. Michael had to throw very important sacrifices into the other empty scale, so that it would tip over again and pull the poor condemned sinner fortunately out of hell again. The priests who held the power of God are not among those who demand much, but they rather want everything in earnest!
 In this way many very wealthy knights and counts once had to bite the bullet and, on top of that, as a remission from hell, bequeath their goods to the church. Their unfortunate wives were taken into a convent as atonement for the punishment of her unfaithful husband. Also the possible children both male and female were then usually divided into such monasteries, where one must possess no earthly riches.
 I think that this should be enough to see all the really nasty things that came out of the distortion of this law. The indeterminate "you" of the law was the primary source of dispensing, which usually incorporated the most. If someone had made a great sacrifice, you could modify the "you", so that the sinner at least would not go to hell. On the contrary, however, this "you" could also be so damnably determined, by the presumed power of 'binding and loosing', that only very significant sacrifices could help the sinner in salvation from hell.
 We have now seen to what aberrations the indefinite "you" gave opportunity. But let us not content ourselves with this, but consider some such ridiculous interpretations, so that it becomes all the clearer to everyone how necessary the acquaintance with the pure meaning of the law is, without which one can never become free, but must remain slavishly under the curse of the law! - And so we proceed!
CHAPTER 95 Examples of wrong views of the tenth commandment
 As the law says, we know that it prohibits a desire or longing. But now it comes to mind: some man is impoverished while his neighbor is a rich man. The wife of the neighbor, as the neighbor of our poor man, has, as he knows, a compassionate and benevolent heart. Our poor man evidently gets a longing for the benevolent wife of his neighbor, and desires to silence his hunger. Question, did he sin or not? He obviously had a desire and longing for the wife of his neighbor. But since it says: Thou shalt have no desire for the wife of thy neighbor, who can justifiably declare this reasonable desire of the poor as sinful? For under "no desire, no longing," surely every desire and every longing must be forbidden, since in the word "none" there allows no exception whatsoever. So, therefore, a desire of whatever kind must be forbidden.
 Does not this make it seem as if the Lord thereby wished to divert the female sex from charity, according to which, then, every good deed that a housewife gives to a poor man, is to be regarded as a sin which completely runs counter to the Divine command?
 But is it possible to think of such an absurd command coming from the supreme love of the Lord? It could be said here, of course, that the commandment is limited only to carnal, sensual desire. But I say: It is good, so if it should be thus, then just allow me to make some remarks. If these remarks kill the "should be thus", then every one of us must be content to take another course in determining this commandment. And so you hear the remarks.
 The commandment should therefore only prohibit a sensual carnal desire. Good, I say, but ask: Is there a certain woman in the command, or are all the women included in the commandment, or are there certain natural exceptions?
 Suppose several neighbors have old, no longer attractive women. We can be assured that these neighbors no longer have a carnal desire for both their wives. Accordingly, only the young women should be understood, and only if they are beautiful and charming. Surely even men who are old and full of days, will not be much tortured by carnal sensual desires towards whatever women of their neighbors.
 From this, however, we see that this law is valid only under certain conditions. So the law has gaps and thus has no general validity. For where nature already makes exceptions and a law does not even have the full natural validity, how should it extend to the spiritual? If you cannot understand this, just break off a tree and see if it will then grow and bear fruit.
 But a Divine law must surely be so constituted that its blissful validity is "lawful" for all eternity. If, however, in the course of the short earthly existence, it is naturally pushed beyond the applicable limits, and thus already ceases to be active in the natural state of man, what shall it then be for eternity? Is not every law of God founded in His infinite love? But what is it afterwards, when such a law is made invalid? Is this something different from what one might claim that Divine love, under certain circumstances, also ceases to be valid for man?
 But this is also the basis of the sad faith of your pagan-Christian side, according to which the love of God lasts only as long as man lives in this world. Once he has died in his body and merely exists there in soul and spirit, the immutable, terribly strict, punitive angry righteousness of God takes immediate effect, in which there is no talk of everlasting love and mercy.
 If man, through his way of life, deserves heaven, he will not go to heaven because of the Divine love, but only according to the Divine justice, of course, through his own good and pleasing mercy. But if man has not lived thus, eternal damnation is present immediately, from which salvation is never to be expected. In other words, man say that there is some stupid Father who has set up a law in His household against His children, which means:
 I give complete freedom to all my children from birth until their seventh year. During this time you should enjoy all my love without distinction. After the seventh year, however, I withdraw my love from all the children and from then on I either want to judge you or make you happy. Those who, as minor children, have kept my heavy laws, from the seventh year onwards shall enjoy their highest pleasure. But those who, in the course of the seven years, have not completely improved one atom according to my great law, from now on are to be forever cursed and rejected from my, the father's, house. - Say, what would you say to such a cruel donkey of a father? Would not that be more than the most shameful tyranny of all tyrants?
 But if you were to find such a man indescribably foolish, bad, and evil, how horribly nonsensical must those men be who can ascribe even far worse things to God, who is the Supreme Love and Wisdom Himself!
 What did the Lord do on the cross as the sole Divine Wisdom, since, by manner of speech, He was as if separated from the eternal Love? He, as Wisdom, and as such the foundation of all righteousness, turned Himself to the Father or the eternal Love, not calling for just vengeance, but He implores Love to forgive all these abusers, including the high priests and Pharisees their deeds, for they did not know what they were doing!
 So this is what Divine justice does for itself. Should the infinite Divine Love then begin to condemn where the Divine justice implores the still infinitely more merciful Love for mercy?
 If one does not accept that the Lord was really serious in His request, and says that He has only done so as an example, does one not then make of the Lord a hypocrite, by only seeming make Him ask for forgiveness on the cross, but secretly man see in Him the irrepressible revenge, according to which He has long condemned all these evildoers to the most intense hellish fire?
 O world! O people! O most terrible nonsense that could ever be conceived in all infinity and eternity! Is it possible to think of something more shameful than to make the Lord on the cross a liar, a false preacher, a traitor, and thus a universal con artist, for the false, though temporally lucrative, justification of hell? From whose mouth as alone from that of the arch-satan can such doctrine and words come?
 I think it is enough here, too, to bring you to the realization of what abominations may come from a very wrong interpretation and exegesis of a Divine law. That it is all the same with you in the world, you can already grasp with your own hands. But why it is so, for what reason, you did not know and could not know; for this law's knot was too confused, and no one could ever fully loosen this knot.
 Therefore, the Lord had mercy on you, and let you in the sun, since it is certainly light enough, announces to you the true solution of this knot, so that you may have insight into the general cause of all evil and darkness.
 It will of course be said: Yes, how can so much evil depend on the misunderstanding of the Ten Commandments of Moses?
 I think: Because these ten commandments are given by God and carry in themselves the whole infinite order of God Himself.
 Therefore, whoever would step out of the Divine order in one point or another, no longer remains in the Divine because it is equal to a straight path. If somebody deviates from this path, can he say: I have deviated only a quarter, fifth, seventh or tenth of the way? Certainly not. For as he leaves the path in the least, he has already departed from the whole way. If he does not wish to return, it will certainly be possible to assert that the single point on the way, where the wanderer deviated from it, had removed the wanderer from the whole way.
 And so it is with every single part of the Divine law. It will not be easy to find someone who would have terribly sinned against every law, as this almost impossible. But it is enough if someone would sin at a point and then insist. He thus departs from the whole law, and if he does not want it and the Lord does not want to help him, he would never return to the way of the law or the Divine order. And so you may also be assured that most of the evils of the world unfortunately probably originate from selfish and malicious misunderstanding, or rather from the malicious distortion of the meaning of these last two Divine commandments.
 But we have now also sufficiently revealed the ridiculousness and false interpretations of this commandment; Therefore, let us proceed to the right meaning of this law, in which light you will all see these foolish things incomparably brighter enlightened.
CHAPTER 96 Reason for concealment of the actual meaning of the tenth commandment
 Here are some who have read the preceding saying: We are seriously curious about what this commandment has for a proper permanent purpose, since every sense we have previously attached to this commandment has irrevocably been drawn into the absurdly ridiculous as it was presented. We seriously would like to know who is the "you", and also, the wife? For out of this commandment, nothing can be established with certainty. "You" may well be anyone, but whether a woman can be understood by that is still uncertain. At best, the neighbor could be more closely defined, especially if one takes that word in a broader sense, whereby then anyone who needs our help is our neighbor. But the wife is causing the greatest dilemma; because one does not know if a married woman or a single person of the female gender is to be understood. Of course, it is written as singular and not the multiple; but that does not make the matter any more specific. For if one accepts polygamy in any part of the world, then obviously the simple number would have a new catch. For all this, we are all the more curious about the true meaning of this commandment, in that the literal sense is everywhere wholly inconsistent.
 And I say: So it is certain and clear that with the assumption of the pure external sense of the letter, only the greatest nonsense can be represented, but never any established truth.
 It will of course be said here: Yes, why did not the Lord immediately give the law so that it would not be obscure for everyone, but appear quite open in the sense it actually exist and how it can be observed in that very sense?
 This objection, at first sounds rather wise; but considered in the light, it is so stupid that one cannot easily imagine something more stupid. But for all to easily see the extraordinary absurdity of this objection, as if one would stand only a few miles away from the sun, and then suddenly see it up close - or like one who cannot see the forest for the trees, so I will make some natural, very brief observations for this occasion.
 Let us suppose that a so-called naturalist and botanist would like to ask for the convenience of his investigation: Why did not the creative power of the highest Creator create the trees and plants in such a way that the inner core is outside and the bark inside? It would be easy to observe the rising of the juice into the branches and twigs and their reactions and other effects with a microscope? For it cannot have been the intention of the Creator to put the thinking man on earth in such a position that he should never penetrate into the mystery of the miraculous effects of nature. - What do you say to this desire? Is not it extremely stupid?
 Suppose, however, that the Lord could be bribed by such a request and thus turn the trees and the plants inside out - will not other naturalists come in immediately and say: What good is the consideration of the external core, if we cannot discover the wonderful formation of the inner bark? What follows from this? The Lord would have to submit Himself again now and fix the bark and the core on the outside of the tree in an incomprehensible way. Suppose, however, that the Lord had really done so and the interior of the tree consists now only of wood. Will not another naturalist at once announce a new need and say: Because the bark on the one side and the core on the other, all the wonderful formation of the wood is now concealed. Could not a tree be designed so that everything, core, wood and bark were exposed or at least be as transparent as the air?
 Whether one can make a tree with all of its countless many necessary organs as transparent as air or at least as pure as water is what opticians and mathematicians should decide. By the way, whether any fruit will grow on perfectly airy trees, may be experienced in the regions of the North Pole or South Pole. For there are sometimes such phenomena that, as in the winter, crystalline ice-trees burst open on the glass windows in the way you do in the winter, but there, in the air. Whether figs and dates appear on these trees, has not yet been determined.
 With regard to the trees, where everything, core, wood, and bark, should be exposed, you can be perfectly assured that it would be just as easy to make a square ball as such a tree. I think that by this consideration, the stupidity of the above objection should be as clear as the sun before the eyes. But to make the matter, as usual, really excessive, let's add a few more considerations.
 Let us suppose that when a doctor who has to study a great deal, and has already swallowed a whole heavy cart full of erudition like a polyp, is called to a dreadfully ill patient, he is often at the sickbed, like a pair of newly-tethered oxen on a steep mountain. The doctor is asked by the bystanders: How do you find the patient, what is wrong with him? Will he be able to help?
 At these questions the doctor makes a scholarly, but still very questionable embarrassed face and says: My dears! Nothing can yet be determined; I must first proof the illness with a medicine. If there are any reactions, I'll know what to think about it. But if no reactions occur here, then you must realize for yourself that someone cannot look into our bodies to find out the location of the disease and its condition.
 But somebody says somewhat laconically: Mister Doctor, our Lord God would have done better if He had created man like the carpenter does a cabinet that you can unlock and see what is inside. Or the Creator should have placed the more delicate parts, which can be so difficult to reach by means of the fingers, ears, eyes, and nose outside, so that this part can be easily helped with a plaster, an ointment, or with an bandage. But it would be best if He had either created man transparent as the water or He should not have made him with such life-endangering parts, but should have made him overall more like a stone.
 The doctor wrinkles his nose a little, but still speaks: Yes, my dear friend, that would be good and better, but it is not the way you just expressed your wish. So we have to be content with it, if we are only
able to depend on experience regarding the inner state of health and illness of a person by means of experience. For if man were also to open like a box, it would be much more perilous for every human being than it is, because only one little awkward grasp on the inside could instantly take a life. And if one were also able to inspect the entrails through such an opening, that would be of little use. The intestines and their fine organs would have to remain closed since all vital juices and every life activity would cease at the opening of the organ. But as far as the external positioning of the internal parts of the body is concerned, my dear, that would give the human form a most unattractive sight. And if the human being were completely transparent, each would be frightened of the other, for he would simultaneously see the skin-man, the muscular man, the vascular man, the nerve-man, and finally the bone-man. That such a sight would not be inviting, you can imagine for yourself.
 I think that in this consideration, the foolishness of the above objection will be more obvious to you.
 But there is someone else who speaks: It is, of course, absurd to think of natural, material things, that their internal things should at the same time make up their appearance. But the word in itself is neither a tree, nor an animal, nor a human, but it is in and of itself spiritual, in that it bears nothing material in itself. Why should it be like a tree or humans, or any incomprehensible inner meaning? Or how should this be possible considering the already extraordinary simplicity and flatness of the word?
 Well, I say, let's take the word "father". What does it mean? Is the word already the father himself, or does the word signify a truly essential father, of whom this word is merely an external feature type? It will be said: Obviously here the word is not the father himself, but only an external designation of it. Well, but then I ask: What then must one understand under the word, so that one recognizes this word as an external, correctly identifying type? Answer: The word must be a man of an appropriate age, married, having produced living children with his wife, and then truly caring for them physically and spiritually.
 Who can deny in the least that this rather stretched and exceedingly essential meaning must be contained in the simple word "father," without which this word would not be a word?
 But even if in external relations every simple word must permit a more inward explanation and dissection, how much more must each external word have an internal spiritual sense, for everything which is signified by external words, has in itself an inward spiritual power and activity. A father certainly has a soul and spirit. Will the word properly describe the term "father" if it excludes the soul and the spirit? Certainly not, for the essential Father consists of body, soul and spirit, that is to say, something external, internal and deep internal. If, then, the essential Father is thus alive, then must not the word indicating the father, just as perfectly reflect as in a mirror in the Word, the Father in its essence?
 I think that a necessary inner sense of the word cannot be represented more completely and clearly. From this, however, it can also be seen that the Lord, if He manifests His will in the world, cannot announce it to external people according to His eternal Divine order, except only through external, pictorial representations, which then is obviously supported by an internal one and an innermost sense. Through this, then, the whole man is supplied with Divine love from his inward to his utmost.
 But now that we have more than demonstrated the necessity and the certainty of such an institution, it will be an easy matter to find the inner, true meaning of our law almost by itself; and as it is portrayed by me, at least to recognize the incontrovertible, the only true and universal. - And so we go straight to such a presentation!
CHAPTER 97 The inner, self-evident meaning of the tenth commandment
 The law therefore reads, as we already know it by heart: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife," or: Thou shalt have no desire for thy neighbor's wife, which is one and the same thing. - Who is "the woman" and who is the "neighbor"?
 The woman is the love of every man, and the neighbor is every man with whom I come into contact wherever, who is possibly in need of my help. If we know that, we basically know everything.
 What does the commandment therefore say? Nothing other than: Every human being should not demand the love of his neighbor for his own good; for self-love is in and of itself nothing else than to attract the love of the other for one's own enjoyment, but not having one spark of love to give back to him.
 This is then the law in its spiritual sense. But one says:
 Here it is evidently reproduced in the sense of the letter, which one might have pronounced in the beginning just as well as now, whereby many aberrations would have been prevented. - But I say: That's
correct, though. If one splits a tree in the middle, the core also comes out, and one can look at it just as easily as you could the bark before.
 The Lord, however, has diligently veiled the inner sense in an outer, natural picture, so that this sacred, inward, living sense should not be attacked and destroyed by any malevolent man, whereby then all the heavens and worlds could be brought to the greatest harm. For this reason, the Lord also said: "Before the great and mighty wise men of the world, it shall remain hidden, and be revealed only to the small, the weak, and the underaged.
 This principle is already prevalent in the things of nature. Suppose that the Lord created the trees so that their core and their main organs of life would be at the outside of the trunk? Say you yourselves, how many dangers would a tree be exposed to, every second?
 You know, if you deliberately or wantonly pierce a tree's inner core, it's done with the tree. If any evil worm gnaws through the main trunk root, which is in close contact with the core of the tree, the tree dies. Who is not familiar with the malicious so-called "bark beetle"? What does he do to the trees? He gnaws first on the wood and eats here and there into the main organs of the tree and the tree dies. If, in this already well-guarded manner, the tree is still exposed to so many dangers of life, to what extent would he be exposed if his essential life-organs would be at the outside of the trunk?
 See, it is just the same and unspeakably worse with the word of the Lord. If the inner meaning would be exposed at the outset, then there would have been already for a long time no religion among men. They would have gnawed and clawed at this inner, holy meaning of their lives as if on the outer bark of the tree of life. The inner holy city of God would have been a long time ago so thoroughly destroyed that no stone would have remained on the other, as they did with the old Jerusalem, and as they did it with the outer words, which only exist in the literal sense.
 For the word of God in its outward, literal sense as you have it in the Holy Scriptures before you, is so very much different from the original text, as today's most wretched city of Jerusalem is different from the ancient cosmopolitan city of Jerusalem.
 All this displacement and fragmentation, and also abbreviation only in the external sense of the letter, is not detrimental to the inner sense, because the Lord, through His wise providence, has created His order since eternity as such, that one and the same spiritual truth would stay preserved undamaged among a great variety of external images.
 But the case would be quite different if the Lord had at once given the naked inner spiritual truth without a protective outer covering. They would have destroyed this holy, living truth and destroyed it at their discretion, and it would have been done with all life.
 But because the inner sense is so obscured that the world can never possibly find it, life remains secure, even though its outer garment is torn into pieces. And so, of course, the inner sense of the word sounds when it is revealed, as if it were equal to the external sense of the word, and can also be expressed by articulated sounds or words. But that does not confuse the issue in the least. For this reason, the inner, living, spiritual sense nevertheless remains, and is recognizable in that it embraces the whole Divine order, while the picture containing it, expresses only a special relationship which, as we have seen, can never have one general meaning.
 But just as the commandment just described in the picture, is but an external envelope, and how the inner sense now announced to you is a truly inner, spiritual, and living one, I would like to clearly explain to you with a small reflection.
 The outer pictorial commandment is known; inwardly it says: Have no desire for the love of your brother or sister!
 Why is this content and vital commandment here wrapped in the image of the not to be desired woman?
 On this occasion, I only call your attention to a saying of the Lord Himself, in which He expresses Himself about the love of man for a woman, since He speaks: "So a son will leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife".
 What does the Lord mean by this? Nothing else than man's most powerful love in this world is that for his wife. For what does man in his order love more in the world than his dear, good, honest wife? In the woman, therefore, the whole love of the man is contained, just as, conversely, the woman in her order certainly loves nothing more powerfully than the man who corresponds to her heart.
 Thus, in this commandment, under the image of the woman, the whole love of the man or of man is in general set, because the woman is in earnest nothing but an outer, tender covering of the love of the man.
 Who can escape the explanation that under the picture, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife", as much is said as: you shall not demand to your own advantage the love of your neighbor, and all other loves, because the world as wife also includes the whole love of man in itself.
 If you would consider it with more detail, you will even grasp it with your hands, that all the outer, known vagueness of the external pictorial law are nothing but pure inner general determinations. How, we shall soon see.
 See, the "you" is indefinite. Why? Because in the internal sense, "everyone" is understood, regardless of male or female gender. Likewise, the woman is indefinite, for it is not said whether an old or a young, whether one or more, whether a girl or a widow. Why then indefinite? Because the love of man is only one, and is neither an old nor a young woman, nor a widow, nor a single girl, but she, as love, is singular in each man. For this, the neighbor should have no desire, because it is each person's own life. Anyone who has an arrogant, envious, or avaricious desire for this love, is as a murderer of his neighbor, seeking to seize upon his life or love to his advantage. So the neighbor is indefinite too. Why? Because in the spiritual sense, "everyone" is understood, without distinction of gender.
 I think it should be quite clear to you that the inner sense that I have shown you is the only right one, for it encompasses everything.
 There may be some who, boasting from their lunar quarter-light, may object and say, If this is the case, then it is not a sin for anyone to tempt or long after their neighbor's wife or daughter. I say: Oh, my dear friend! With this assumption you have strongly lost your way into the blue. Under the fact that you should not desire the love of your neighbor, and indeed all his love, is not understood among "all that he carries as a life duty" in his heart? Behold, therefore, not only the wife and the daughters of your neighbor in the commandment are deprived of your desire, but everything that is embraced by your brother's love.
 For this reason, the two last commandments were initially given as one commandment. They are only distinguished by the fact that in the ninth commandment, the love of the neighbor is more singularly to be respected, but in the tenth commandment the very same is given in the most inward sense, representing the observation of respect in general terms.
 That therefore also the desire of the wife and the daughters of the neighbor is forbidden, surely every man can reach with his hands. It is the same than if you give someone a whole ox, you also give its extremities - the tail, horns, ears, feet and so on. Or if the Lord would give a world to someone, then he will give him everything that is on the same and not say: Only the inside of the world is yours, but the surface is Mine.
 I think the matter cannot be made more clear to the understanding of man. We have now fully acquainted ourselves with the inner, true meaning of this commandment, as it is eternally valid in all the heavens and conditions the bliss of all angels, and we have met every possible objection. So we're done with that and want to go straight to the eleventh illuminated hall in front of us. There we shall find everything that has been said so far in the clearest light, summarised and confirmed in one point. - So we enter!
CHAPTER 98 The Eleventh Commandment in the Eleventh Hall - The Love unto God
 We are already in this hall, and here in the middle of the hall, we also see a round tablet on a large, white, shiny pillar. It shines like the sun, and in its center is written in ruby-red writing:
 You shall love God your Lord above all, with all your mind and with all your life forces bestowed you by God.
 In addition to this meaning-laden, beautiful solar tablet, we see, more than the usual number than in the other halls, of already grown children who, as you may notice, soon look at the table, then talk with their teachers again, and then soon become absorbed in themselves, their hands crosswise over their chests, standing like statues. The whole scene already implies that this is something extraordinarily important.
 Some may perhaps ask and say: Such would probably be expected. But if one looks at the matter in the correct light, then this commandment written on the solar tablet will say nothing other than what all the previous commandments have basically said together. Why, then, does this tablet here have to shine, while all the preceding ten tablets were simply white and, as usual, described with a dark substance? - This remark is not without content. Nevertheless, it loses its value here, just as all other doctrines and claims against a single word from the mouth of the Lord must necessarily lose their appearance.
 It is the same situation as is authenticated every single day in the world in the great nature. Suppose how many thousands and thousands of thousands of smaller and sometimes stronger and slightly larger lights shine down from the high heavens to the dark earth every night. The moon itself is often active throughout the night. In addition to these beautiful lights, at night, people on Earth light almost as many artificial lights.
 With this abundance of lights upon lights, one would think that at nighttime on earth, it would be impossible to bear the light. But experience has always shown that on the earth, after each sunset, it becomes darker as the sun sinks below the horizon, despite the ever-increasing number of lights in the sky.
 Who can say these lights are not gorgeous? Yes, a mediocre admirer of the wonders of God must, at the sight of the starry sky at night, beat the breast and say: O Lord, I am not worthy to walk in this Your sanctuary, in this infinite temple of Your omnipotence! Yes indeed, one can rightfully exclaim every night: O Lord! Who looks at Your works, experience a vain desire for it!
 Why then vain? Because every human being has reason enough for himself, out of sheer pleasure and bliss, to be piously vain because He who created such marvels, is his Father!! Thus, everyone has, as it were, a sacred right to rejoice when, one more night, he looks at the great wonders of his Almighty Father. And indeed, the flame of a lamp, and that of the hearth, is no less a miracle of the almighty Father than the glorious radiance of the countless stars of the heavens!
 And look now, all of this marvelous admirable splendor is like the Old Testament word in all its parts.
 We see a barely countable amount of larger and smaller lights in this old nocturnal sky. They radiate splendidly, and whoever looks at them is always filled with a secret, holy reverence. Why? Because his spirit suspects great things behind these lights. But they are still too far away from him. He can look and grab and feel, but the little lights with their great content do not want to move closer to his inquiring spirit.
 But who are these heavenly lights in the old heaven of the spirit?
 See, it is all the patriarchs, fathers, prophets, teachers, and leaders of the people who are known to you by the Spirit of God. - But on earth there are also a lot of artificial lights, who are they supposed to be in the Old Testament? These are the worthy people who faithfully lived according to the words that came from the God-saturated men, who throughout their lives enlightened and refreshed their neighbors.
 So we have this wonderful night scene in front of us. It is true that the nocturnal local storms occasionally obscure the rays of the sky, with clouds drifting rapidly away. But the same storm that once brought a fiery cloud over the glorious star-spangled sky, exactly this storm drives this cloud away over the horizon, and after him the firmament becomes purer than it was before. Everything becomes fearful at such a short-lasting storm and wishes again for the quiet, glorious night, illuminated by so many thousands of lights. But a naturalist speaks: Such storms are nothing but ordinary harbingers of the day, so one should not be afraid.
 So it is true. For where large forces are set in motion, one can rightly conclude and say: Here an even greater, even the greatest primordial force cannot be far away, for these lesser winds are nothing but side streams of a not-so-distant great hurricane. So our naturalist is right and we are still refreshed by the wonderful splendor of the miracle night.
 Like lovers we swarm around under the many windows of the big, magnificent house, and look with imaginative and longing chests up to the light-filled openings of the house, dimly lit by a night lamp, behind which we sense the object of our love.
 Many fantasies, a thousand content-heavy thoughts twitch like shooting stars over our love-heaven, but no such fleeting ephemeral light will suffice to satisfy the thirst of our love.
 As such do people wander in the old night sky of the spirit. But what happens? At the rising of the sun the horizon begins to redden. It gets brighter and brighter over the horizon of the rising. Another glimpse of the once so beautiful sky, and what do you see? - Nothing but the disappearance of one star after the other.
 The sun, the glorious one, rises with its primeval daylight, and no star in the sky is visible anymore, for the one sun has enlightened every heavenly atom with its singular light, which at night all those innumerable stars together could not manage to do.
 For the tarrying lover, who had raved in vain all through the night, one window of the for him very meaningful house opens, and from this one window the longed-for object of his heart greets him, and tells him with a benevolent glance, more than all his innumerable fantasies and thoughts during the night!
 Thus we see every day in the great nature, a scene that corresponds perfectly to our spirituality.
 The moon, like Moses, we see with diminishing and pale light dipping behind the evening mountains, when the mighty sun rises in the morning over the horizon. Whatever had been shrouded in the night in the most mysterious darkness, is now brightly lit before everyone's eyes!
 All this is the effect of the sun. And in the spiritual heaven, it is all the effect of the One Lord, the One Jesus, who is the only One God of heaven and of all worlds!
 What He Himself is in Himself as the Divine sun of all suns, that is also every single word spoken out of His mouth against all countless words from the mouth of enthusiastic patriarchs, fathers and prophets. Countless exhortations, laws and regulations we see in the course of the Old Testament. These are stars and also artificial lights of the night. But then the Lord comes, speaks only one word - and this word outweighs the whole Old Testament.
 And, for that very reason, this first word appears here in this eleventh hall as a self-luminous sun, whose light illuminates innumerable stars, but it never lasts forever to make use of the counter-reflection of the stars. For it is the primeval light from which all the countless stars have taken their partial light.
 And so it will certainly be understandable here, too, why the former ten erected tablets are only white, that is with a dull shimmer, whereas here we see the primordial sunlight, which requires no pre-light and no after-light, but it is all light in itself.
 Whoever takes this to heart to a certain extent will fully understand why the Lord has said, "In this commandment of love are Moses and all the prophets." It is certainly as much as said, as one would of course like to say: In the daylight, therefore, one no longer sees the stars and no longer needs their light, because all their light gets completely overpowered by the single light of the sun. But how through this here the full truth presents itself palpably, you will see in the sequel.
CHAPTER 99 Love of God as the primordial material of all creatures
 The love of God is the primitive substance of all creatures, for without them nothing could ever have been created. This love corresponds to the all-enlivening and generating warmth, and only through this warmth do you see the earth become green under your feet.
 Through heat, the rigid tree becomes leafy, flowering, and the warmth in its essence is what ripens the fruit on the tree. There is no creature or thing on the earth's surface at all which could take its origin in the total lack of heat.
 It will be said and argued that ice surely lacks all warmth, and especially the polar ice. With that, the heat will not be able to do much, because at near forty degrees below zero, one would like to know the heat measuring instrument that could measure some heat there. But I say nothing else than that the scholars of this earth have not yet invented an instrument with which they are able to discern the actual heat from the actual cold matter and precisely determine it. With us, who are in the inner pure knowledge, a completely different measure is introduced and in use.
 The scientists of the earth begin with the measurement of cold, where water freezes. If at freezing point the actual cold begins, then I would like to know the reason, according to which laws or in which way cold then can increase? Why is a temperature of about four to five degrees below the so-called ice-point still tolerably bearable? But when the thermometer has dropped to eighteen degrees below, everyone will feel the cold very painfully. One cannot say with full rights here: Eighteen degrees of cold are therefore more sensitive than four degrees, because at four degrees, apparently more heat than at eighteen degrees prevails. Can one now accept eighteen degrees as complete coldness? Oh no, because you've already experienced thirty degrees of coldness. This was even more painful than the eighteen-degree one. Why? Because it contained far less heat than eighteen degrees. But forty degrees will be even more painful than thirty. But is it therefore justified to declare the forty degrees as completely void of heat?
 But I want to tell you that this is nothing but transitions from heat to cold, and vice versa. Therefore one can accept this much more correct scale:
 Every thing, every body that can still be heated, cannot be called completely cold, for the amount of heat it is capable to absorb, corresponds with its size and density. A lump of ice from the highest north can be melted by the fire and the water brought to boiling point. If this ice had no inherent heat, it could never be heated.
 Cold is therefore the property of a being in which there is no longer any warming capacity. Thus, one can justifiably attribute the formation of ice on the North Pole solely to the reaction of heat, where it is threatened by the cold, seizing, contracting and solidifying its bodies so that they can resist the actual cold.
 Warmth is therefore equal to love, but the real cold is like the real hellish lovelessness. Wherever it wants to appear ruling, the all-enlivening and sustaining love arms itself against her, and the real cold, which kills everything, cannot win any victory from the love thus armed.
 After that, what does "love God above everything" mean? Of course, it cannot possibly mean something other than:
 Combine your God-given warmth of life with the original creative and preserving warmth of your Creator, and you will never lose your life.
 But if you want to voluntarily separate your love or your warmth of life from the Divine primordial warmth of life, and want to exist as an independently ruling being, your warmth will have no more sustenance.
 You will thereby move into an ever greater degree of cold. And the deeper you go down into the ever more powerful, colder degrees, the harder it will be to warm you up again. But if you have gone into the perfect cold, then you have fallen completely prey to Satan, where you are so cold that no more warming is possible!
 What then would happen to you, no angel of the heaven would know one syllable to tell you.
 In God, of course, are infinite depths. But who will be able to fathom these and keep his life?
 I think that from this short discussion, one can already quite clearly begin to form an idea of why this commandment, this one word of the Lord, is the epitome, indeed a sun of all suns and a word of all words. In the following instance, we want to talk more about it.
CHAPTER 100 What does it mean to love God above all else?
 I see one who comes and speaks: It would be all right, but how should one realize this one Divine word to God Himself? How could one truly love God, and above all else? Should one be so in love with God as a young bridegroom with his beautiful and rich bride? Or should one be in love with God, like a mathematician with a mathematical calculation or an astronomer with his stars? Or should one be in love like a speculator with his commodity, or a capitalist with his money, or a sovereign with his dominions, or even like a ruling monarch with his throne? These are the only possible standards of serious human love, for the children's love of their parents cannot be properly established as a serious measure of love, as the example teaches that children can leave their parents to either build a good marriage or to gain much money or to take a high honorary position. With all this, the love of the children returns to their parents and must necessarily take a more powerful place. Therefore, only the most powerful standards of human love are given here, and then it is asked, by which one should one actually measure the love of God?
 But if somebody comes and says: Like this or that, I say: friend! That cannot be.
 It is true that the most powerful measures of love I have quoted are probably the only ones according to which man's greatest power of love can be measured; but when it is said that one should love God above all, that wants to say as much as: more than anything in the world.
 So, how does one begin to raise love unto a power of which no human spirit can form any measurable or comparable concept? One will say, for example, that one should love God even more than his own life. Here I say in objection: With the love of one's own life, the highest love for God holds out even less of a comparison than with the love of the children for their parents. Because it is already well known that the children do not risk their lives out of love for their parents; on the contrary, they expect of the parents to fight for them for life and death.
 The self-love of children is usually far more powerful than their love towards their parents. But we see, on the other hand, that the children of men often put their lives on the line for the sake of other benefits. One is sailing across the ocean on stormy nights, another is facing the line of fire of the enemy's army, and a third often goes to the unstable abysses of the earth to fetch metallic treasures. And so we see that these external worldly-earnest standards of human love are certainly stronger and have a more general applicability than children's love for their parents and the love of their own lives.
 But of what use are all these standards, if far above them, the love for God should stand on such a level, against which all other love measures should sink back into pure nothingness? See, my dear friends and brothers, our objector has attacked us sharply, and we will have to stand up with much vigor in order to win against the opponent's overweight.
 But I just see a very serious-looking opponent again. This one is sure of his victory and says: Oh, we will deal with this objector soon, because the Lord has even given us the explicit standard of how to love God. Therefore, I need say nothing other than what the Lord Himself has said, namely, "He who keeps my commandments, it is he who loves Me." - This is the actual measure of how to love God.
 If the objector has enough sharp and strong teeth, he should still try to set up some other unbeatable measure. Good, I say, the objector is still around and makes an effort to bite the bit with this objection. So we want to listen to him and see what he's going to say. He speaks:
 Good, my dear, friendly opponent! In the presentation of your objection, you have shown to me according to your measure of the highest love of God, nothing but that you have a fairly good memory, by quoting so many texts from the Holy Scriptures. But see, whoever wants to receive life from all the texts, not only has to know them, but should also be able to vividly perceive their meaning.
 What would you say, if I spoke to you from the mouth of the Lord Himself, not just one, but several objections to it, according to which the Lord Himself presents the love from the fulfillment of the law as insufficient? Although you make a face now, as if you want to say: Such texts should probably be sparsely scattered in Scripture. But I say to you: Dear friend, not at all. Just listen to me, I want to bring you half a dozen, if you want it.
 Are you aware of the Lord's talk with the rich youth? Does not he ask: "Master, what shall I do to win eternal life?" What does the Lord answer? You speak triumphantly: The Lord says, "Keep the commandments and love God, and you will live!" Good, I say, but what does the youth say? He says, "Master, I have kept that since my childhood."
 That’s all right. But why, I ask, did the boy give this answer to the Lord? He wanted to tell him this: Although you have kept all this from your childhood, you still feel nothing of the wonderful eternal life in Me.
 Why does the Lord then not explain to the youth the attitude of the commandments for the attainment of eternal life as sufficient, but at once makes a very tremendous addition, saying, "So sell all your goods, distribute them among the poor, and follow Me!
 Question, if the Lord thus makes such an addition, are the observation of the laws then the highest love for God? See, there's a catch, but let's move on!
 What does the Lord say to His apostles and disciples when He introduces and preaches to them the duties to be fulfilled? He speaks nothing but the simple, very meaningful words: "But if you have done all things, confess that you are lazy and useless servants.
 I ask you now: does the Lord here explain the obedience to the commandments as sufficient, while He evidently declares that every man who completely fulfills the law should consider himself completely useless? See, there is already a second, even greater problem. But let us continue!
 Do you know the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector in the temple? The Pharisee joyfully gives himself the faithful testimony before the sanctuary, that he, unlike many others, has fully fulfilled the law of Moses in all its aspects. The poor publican in a remote corner of the temple, by his immensely humble position, faithfully shows to every observer that he did not manage to fulfill the conditions of the Mosaic Law, for he dare not even to look up to the sanctuary of God due to his many sins, but confesses even its worthlessness before God and pleads for mercy and grace.
 Surely I would like to know about you, my dear literal friend, why, if the law is sufficient, the Lord here lets the Pharisee, who strictly observe the whole law, stay unjustified and lets the poor, sinful publican go from the temple justified?
 See, if you look at this in the right light, it seems as if the Lord Himself has created a third great problem with the strict observance of the law. You now shrug and do not know what you should make of it. Do not worry about it, it does become even better! So just continue.
 What would you say, if I would quote to you from the Scriptures, and indeed from the mouth of the Lord Himself, a text according to which He indirectly invalidates the whole law and sets for it a completely different aid, through which He alone guarantees the acquisition of eternal life?
 You speak now: Good friend, I also want to hear this text. Shall have him soon, my dear friend! What does the Lord say when He found a child by the wayside, picked him up, pressed him to His heart and cuddled him? He says: "If you do not become like this child, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven!"
 Question: Did this child, who had barely spoken a few words, ever study the laws of Moses and then strictly arranged his life accordingly? There is no person in the world so stupid who could say that. Question: How could the Lord here, as the supreme motive for the gaining of eternal life, designate a child who had never dealt with the law of Moses ever before? Friend, I'll say nothing more than this: try to raise an objection against this. You are silent. So I see that with your lineup you have already retreated quite low into the background with this fourth problem.
CHAPTER 101 What is the love unto God?
 You have seen in these four points that the Lord, on the one hand, does not present the sole obedience to the law for the attainment of actual eternal life as sufficient and, in the fourth point, even indirectly abolishes it.
 But what would you say, if I would like to give you a few instances where the Lord even spoke rebukingly of the observance of the law? You say here: That will probably not be possible! For that, I can offer you not just one, but, as you wish, several examples. Hear!
 Anyone who has studied the Mosaic Law only to some degree must know how much Moses commanded hospitality to the Jewish people. Those who turned against hospitality were declared worthy of punishment before God and before men. The law of hospitality was all the more intensified for the Jewish people, who were very prone to greed, in order to protect this people from self-love and greed, and to lead them to charity.
 The law, therefore, was to receive and serve a foreign guest with all attentiveness, especially if he belonged to the Jewish nation; and this law was from God; for God, not Moses, was the Lawgiver.
 But when the very same Lord, who had once given the laws through Moses, comes to Bethania in the house of Lazarus, Martha is law-abiding and offers all her strength to serve this most worthy guest with due respect. Mary, her sister, forgets about the law out of sheer joy in the exalted guest, sits down idly at His feet and listens with the utmost attention to the stories and parables of the Lord. Martha, somewhat aroused by her sister's inaction and oblivion of the law on this occasion, turns herself eagerly to the Lord and says, "Lord! I have so much to do, would you bid my sister to help me a little! "Or, more clearly, Master, You, the Founder of the Mosaic Law, do remind my sister to be obedient.
 What is the Lord talking about here? "Martha, Martha!" He says, "you're worried about worldliness! Mary has chosen the better part, which will never be taken from her.
 Tell me now, my dear friend, whether this is not an obvious censure of the Lord against the zealous and exact observance of the law, but, on the contrary, an extraordinary commendation of the person who, to a certain extent, does not care about the whole law, but rather says through her actions (Maria):
 Lord, if I only have You, the whole world is not worth a stater to me! Does the Lord not here again show that the observance of the law alone does not give anyone the better, even the best part, which would never be taken from him? See, that is a fifth problem. But go on!
 What does the Lord Himself say to Moses, in the third commandment, "Thou shalt sanctify the Sabbath"? Question, what does the Lord Himself do in the face of His literal fulfillers of the law? See, He goes forth and desecrates the Sabbath Himself, apparently according to the literal sense of the law, and even allows His disciples to reap ears of corn on a sabbath day, and to fill themselves with the grains. How do you like this observance of the law of Moses, where the Lord Himself, as it were, does not only desecrate the whole Sabbath only for Himself, but to the greatest annoyance of the literal law-enforcers? You will say that the Lord could do that, because He is also a Lord of the Sabbath.
 Good, but I ask: Did the angry Pharisees know that the carpenter's son was Lord of the Sabbath? - You think they should have recognized His miracles. But then I say: marvels were not enough for these people to discern the perfect divinity in Christ, for all the prophets worked miracles at all times, the true as well as sometimes the false ones. One cannot therefore assume that the miracles of Christ should have convinced the Pharisees of His Divinity and glory.
 But all the prophets, except for Him, sanctified the Sabbath. He alone overthrew it. Would that not have been a nuisance to the literal law-abiders? Certainly, and yet the Lord did not stop with His activity.
 But what does it mean? Nothing other than that the Lord sets the observance of the law only at the very bottom. Why? A little parable out of your own sphere, as of the sphere of every man who has ever lived in the world, is to bring you the answer:
 A father has two children. He has announced his will as law to these children. He showed them a field and vineyard and said, "You have become strong, and so I demand of you that you diligently work for me in the vineyard and the field. From your work I will know which of you loves me the most." Well, that is the law, according to which, of course, to the son who loves the Father most, would be given more glory by the Father.
 But what are the two sons doing? The one takes the spade and persistently tills the earth all day long and orders the field and the vineyard. The other one is working at his leisure, as one would say. Why? He says: When I am in the field or in the vineyard, I must always miss my dear father, besides, I am not as glory-hungry as my brother. If only I have my dear father, if I can only be around him, who is everything in my heart, I do not ask for much or for one or the other allotment of glory.
 The father also says from time to time to his second son: but see how your brother works diligently and seeks to earn my love. But the son says, O dear father! When I am in the field, I am far from you, and my heart does not give me rest, but always speaks aloud to me: Love does not live in the hand, but in the heart, therefore it does not want to do it with the hand, but want to be earned by the heart. Give, father, my brother, who works so diligently the field and the vineyard. But I am sufficiently provided for by you, if you will only allow me to love you to my heart's content at all times, as I want and must love you, because you are my father, my all.
 What will the Father then say, and that from the innermost depth of his heart? Certainly nothing other than:
 Yes, my dearest son, you have revealed your heart to me; the law is just a test. But my son, love, is not in the law, for everyone who keeps the law alone keeps it out of self-love in order to earn his love and glory with his energy. But the one who keeps the law is still far from My love, because his love attached to Me, but to the reward.
 But because you have turned back, you did not disdain the law, because your father gave it, but you have risen above the law, and your love has led you back to your father. So then your brother should come over the field and the vineyard and enter into my glory; but you, my dearest son, shall have what you have sought, the Father Himself and all His love!
 I think, my dear friend, it will be obvious from this parable, what is more, that dry law only, or the overriding and the embracing of love only.
 If all is not completely clear to you yet, I ask you: if you had the opportunity to choose a bride out of two virgins of whom you would be convinced that you both love each other, but you are not yet completely sure which one loves you the most. Would not you very much wish to find out who does love you the most, to choose the one who loves you most? You say: That's very clear, but how do find out? That we'll have at once.
 See, you come to the first one. She is busy and active. Out of love for you, she does not mind all the hard work she does for you, because she makes shirts, socks, nightgowns, and more such clothing for you. She has so much to do, that not seldom, out of sheer business, is she hardly aware of you when you come to her. See, that's the first one. - The second one works very casually. She also does things for you, but her heart is too busy with you to give her attention to the work. If you visit her, and she sees you coming from far away, there is no talk of working, because then she knows nothing higher, nothing more commendable than you alone! You alone are her all in all, for you she would give all the world! Tell me which of the two will you choose?
 You say: Dear friend! The second one is dearer to me, because what do I care about a few shirts and stockings? Obviously it can be seen here that the first one seeks to earn me only by forcing me to acknowledge her merit. The other, however, seeks to love me. She is beyond merit and knows nothing higher than me and my love. I would take the second one for my wife.
 Well, I tell you, my dear friend, do not you see clearly the nature of Martha and Mary here? Do you see what the Lord is saying to the law-abiding Martha and what to the idle Mary?
 But from this you can also see what the Lord demands of every human being beyond the law, and at the same time tangibly reveals what man's love for God consists of. For just the very reason the Lord even cursed, excited in His heart the literal observer of the law (the Pharisees and the scribes), praises the sinful publican, and makes the kingdom of heaven more accessible to the thieves, whores, and adulterers than the dry slaves of the letter
 Therefore I ask the objector now with the fullest right once again, according to which measure one should love God above everything? If I have the measure, then I have everything, but if I do not have the measure, then I love as one who does not know what love is. So again the question:
 How should one love God above all else? - And I, John, say: To love God above all means:
 To love God beyond all law! - How to, shall be made clear next.
CHAPTER 102 How to love God above all else
 But in order to know and understand thoroughly how to love God beyond the law, one must know that the law in and of itself is nothing but the dry way to the true love of God.
 He who begins to love God in his heart, has already traveled the way; but whoever loves God only by the attitude of the law, is still with his love a traveler on the way, where no fruit grows and not infrequently robbers and thieves of the wanderer wait.
 But whoever loves God purely, loves Him above all else! For to love God above all means to love God beyond all law. Whoever is out of the way, must go on step by step, in order to reach in the most painstaking manner the goal set for him. But he who loves God fully, skips the whole way, that is, the whole law, and he loves God above all else.
 But whoever loves God purely, loves Him above all else! For to love God above all means to love God beyond all law. Whoever is out of the way, must go on step by step, in order to reach in the most painstaking manner the goal set for him. But he who loves God fully, skips the whole way, that is, the whole law, and he loves God above all else.
 But I say: Is not everything explained by the given law, how man has to behave in his desire for worldly things? All things are therefore represented in the law, and besides, for the love of man, there is given the just limitation according to which every man has to behave towards worldly things.
 But if somebody loves God beyond the law, he certainly loves him beyond all worldly things, because, as I have just said, the use of worldly things and the attitude to them according to the Divine order are represented by the law. A short supplement in a comparative position will make the whole thing as clear as daylight.
 The Lord speaks to the rich youth: "Sell everything, divide it among the poor, and follow Me!" - What does that mean? In other words, if you, young man, have observed the law, then rise above it, return all laws and all things to the world, and you stay with Me, then you have the life!
 Who will not know here what God means to love beyond the law?
 The Lord continues to speak to the disciples: "If you do not become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God." What does that mean? Nothing other than:
 If you are not like this little child, not respecting everything in the world, neither the law nor the things of the world, coming to Me and taking Me like this child with all love, you will not enter into the kingdom of God! Why not? Because the Lord Himself speaks again: "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" So whoever comes to Me, who is completely one with the Father, must enter through Me into the fold or the kingdom of God.
 As long as one does not embrace the Lord Himself, he cannot come to Him, even if he had, like a rock, observed a thousand laws without fail. For whoever is still on the way is not yet with the Lord, but who is with the Lord, what does he have to do with the way any more?
 But here among you there are fools, and many hundreds of thousands, who hold the way much higher than the Lord. And when they are already with the Lord. They turn back and move away from Him, to be on the wretched way! Such people enjoy subjection, slavery, and the hard yoke more than the Lord, who makes every man free. His yoke is exceedingly light and His burden is gentle. Light is the yoke, so that in the course of your life, your love for the Lord will not press your neck, and even gently the burden, which is the sole law of love! - Next we will look at an example.
 The just Pharisee praises himself by the wayside; but the tax collector finds the whole way very difficult. Because; he is never able to oversee his goal. He therefore bows down deeply before the Lord in his heart, realizes his weakness and inability to walk the path conscientiously. But he embraces God the Lord with his heart and thereby makes a great leap over the whole arduous way and thereby reaches his goal!
 Who will not reach out with his hands, which means "to love the Lord above all things"? - So let's move on. The Martha is on the way, the Maria at the goal! Here you hardly need to say more about it, for it is obvious and clear here what "loving the Lord above all things" means.
 But if we want to make the matter clearer, let us look at the scene where the Lord asks Peter three times whether he loves Him? - Why does He ask him three times? For the Lord knew anyway that Peter loved Him, and He also knew that Peter would answer all three of the same questions to Him with the same heart and the same mouth. The Lord knew that. It is not for this reason that He asked this question to Peter, but that Peter should confess that he is free and loves the Lord beyond all law. And so the first question means: "Peter, do you love Me" - Peter, did you find Me on the way? - Peter affirms this, and the Lord speaks: "Feed my sheep"! that means: Teach also the brothers to find Me! - The second question: Peter, do you love Me? means: Peter, are you with Me, are you at the door? - Peter affirms this, and the Lord says, "So feed My sheep!" Or: So bring the brethren to be with Me at the door to life! And for the third time the Lord asks Peter: "Do you love Me?" That means as much as: Peter, are you beyond all law? Are you in Me like I am in you? Peter apprehensively affirms this, and the Lord speaks again: "So feed My sheep and follow Me!" That means as much as: So you also bring the brothers, that they are in Me and live in My order and love the same as you.
 Because following the Lord means living in the love of the Lord. I think to say again, "to love God above all things", would be superfluous. And since we now know this and have recognized the Light of lights, we will immediately go to the twelfth and last hall.
CHAPTER 103 The Twelfth commandment in the twelfth hall - Love unto the neighbor
 Here we are in the midst of this great and splendid hall, again with a sun tablet, and written in the midst of it with red-lettered writing: "This is equal to the first, that you love your neighbor as yourself; therein is the law and the prophets." Now, someone can immediately rise and say: How should this be understood: love one's neighbor as oneself? The oneself or self-love is a vice, so the basis love of the neighbor can also be nothing more than a vice; in this way, the charity so evidently has self-love or love-for-your-own as foundation. If I want to live as a virtuous man, I must not love myself. But if I am not allowed to love myself, then I am not allowed to love my neighbor because the love relationship with my neighbor should correspond to the self-love as perfectly identical. According to this, one would not love one's neighbor as one loves oneself because one should not love oneself either.
 See, that would be such an usual objection, which certainly would not be too difficult to meet. Since the self-love of man is as much as one's own life itself, natural self-love is self-evident in this degree, for having no self-love means having as much as no life!
 It is therefore a matter of recognizing the difference between just and unjust self-love.
 Self-love is "just" if it has no greater desire for the things of the world than what the right measure of the Divine order has assigned to it, which measure was adequately shown in the seventh, ninth, and tenth commandments. If self-love demands beyond this measure, then it transcends the definite limits of the Divine order and can already be regarded as sin at the first crossover. According to this standard, therefore, charity must be divided; for if someone loves a brother or a sister beyond this measure, he commits idolatry with his brother or sister and does not make him better, but worse.
 The fruits of such excessive charity are for the most part all the present and all-time rulers of the peoples. How come? Some people have loved one out of their midst because of his more brilliant talents over the just measure, made him the ruler over themselves and afterwards had to let them be punished by him or by his descendants for this vice.
 It will be said here: But there do have to be kings and princes to guide the nations after all, and they are instituted by God Himself. I will not directly oppose that, but I want to shed light on how it is and what it should be like, I will describe with this opportunity.
 What does the Lord say to the Israelite people when they required a king? Nothing other than: "To all the sins that this people has committed before Me, it has added even the greatest, that, dissatisfied with My guidance, it demands a king." - From this sentence, I think, can be sufficiently proved that the kings are given by God out of the people not as a blessing, but as a judgment.
 Question: Are kings necessary at the side of God to guide humanity? This question can be answered with the same answer as another question, which is: Did the Lord have need of any helper in the creation of the world and in the creation of man?
 Question: Which kings and princes, at any time and how present, help the Lord to preserve the worlds in their order and guide them on their paths? What duke does He need for the winds, which prince for the emanation of the light, and which king for the surveillance of the infinite space of the world and of the sun? But if the Lord can gird Orion without humanly princely and royal support, to feed the Big Dog, and to keep the great world and solar people in the most unerring order, should He need kings and princes among the people of this earth to help Him in His business?
 If we go back to the prehistory of every people, we shall find that every people was originally of a purely theocratic constitution, that is, they had no other master over them than God alone. It was not until the time when peoples became dissatisfied with the most free and liberal government of God, because they were too well off among them, that they began to love each other excessively. And usually a man became special for the sake of the general love of reward. He was required to be a leader. But the leader did not remain only a leader, for the leader had to make laws, the laws had to be sanctioned, and so the leader became a lord, a lord, a patriarch, then a prince, a king, and an emperor.
 Thus, emperors, kings, and princes have never been chosen by God, but only confirmed to the judgment of those who, by their free will, have chosen such emperors, kings, and princes from among them, and have given them all power over them.
 I think that this illumination will suffice to realize that any excess of both self-love and charity before God is an abomination.
 To love one's neighbor as oneself, means to love one's neighbor in the given Divine order, that is to say, in that just measure, which is assigned by God to each person from the beginning. If you do not yet understand this thoroughly, I will add a few examples by which you can clearly see the consequences of this, as well as other excesses.
 Suppose a millionaire lives in some village. Will this make the village happy or will it bring disaster? We want to see. The millionaire sees that the public money banks are staggering; what does he do? He sells his bonds and buys realities, goods. The sovereign to which he used to be only a subject is, as usual, in great need of money. Our millionaire is approached to lend capital to the ruler. He does it for good percentages and on the safe mortgage of domination itself. His neighbors, the other villagers, also need money. He lends it to them without decency on land register entry. This situation lasts for several years. The ruler becomes ever poorer and the village neighbors no wealthier. What happens? Our millionaire first seizes the rule, and the ruler, not in the possession of even a penny anymore, must be at mercy and disgrace, gets at the most out of sheer magnanimity a travel allowance, and our millionaire becomes ruler and at the same time lord over his neighbor indebted to him. These, because they are unable to pay him either capital or interests, are soon appraised and seized.
 Here we have the natural consequence of the happiness which a millionaire or an owner of the excess of self-love has prepared for the villager. There is nothing more to say about it. - Let's go over to the second case.
 There lives somewhere a very poor family. They barely have enough to manage her daily miserable life. A very rich and rarely charitable man gets to know this poor, but otherwise good and respectable family. He, in the possession of several millions, takes pity on this family and thinks to himself: I want to make this family truly happy all in one blow. I want to give them an estate and a fortune of half a million. At the same time, I want to have the pleasure of seeing how the faces of this poor family will cheer up. He does as he have decided. For a whole week, the family did nothing but shed tears of joy, even to the dear Lord God is spoken out many a "Thank You, God".
 But only about a year later, when we consider this happy family again, we will discover all the luxuries as it is always at home in the homes of the rich. At the same time, this family became more and more hard- hearted and will now seek to avenge secretly on all those whom who did not want to see them in their distress. The "Thank God" will disappear, but for it equipage, liveried servants and the like is introduced.
 Question: Has this great excess of charity benefited or harmed this poor family? I mean, here you do not need a lot of words, you just have to reach for all the luxuries with your hands, and you'll find out what benefits this family has received for eternal life through an excess of charity. But from this it becomes evident that charity and self-love must always remain within the bounds of the just Divine measure of law.
 If the man loves his wife excessively, then he will spoil her. She becomes vain, will appreciate herself and becomes a so-called coquette. The man will scarcely have enough hands to reach out everywhere to satisfy the demands of his wife.
 Even a bridegroom, if he loves his bride too much, will make her audacious and in the end, unfaithful.
 So the just measure of love is needed everywhere. Nevertheless, charity is something quite different from what we have come to know. But in what is internal and spiritual charity, we want to learn clearly in the course of this communication.
CHAPTER 104 What is true love unto the neighbor?
 In order to know the foundation of the real true "love unto your neighbor" consists of, one must first know and thoroughly understand who really is a neighbor. Therein lies the main knot buried. One will say: how should one understand that? For the Lord Himself, as the sole representative of charity, has nowhere more detailed provisions. When the scribes asked Him who the neighbor was, He merely showed them in a parable who was a neighbor to the well-known, unfortunate Samaritan, namely a Samaritan himself, who took him to the inn and poured oil and wine into his wounds.
 From this, however, it emerges that unfortunate people only have in certain circumstances "neighbors" to be their benefactors, and are therefore, conversely, the "neighbors" to their benefactors. So, if there are neighbors only in these circumstances, what neighbors would ordinary people have, who neither have to endure even a misfortune, nor at any time be able to help a victim? Is not there a more general text that describes the neighbor closer? For in this case only the highest distress and on the other side a great wealth, paired with a good heart, are contrasted as being neighbors to each other.
 We therefore want to see if such broader texts do not exist. There would be one, and that is, "Bless those who curse you, and do good to your enemies!"
 That would be a text from which it can be clearly seen that the Lord has greatly extended charity by not even excluding the enemies and those who curse you.
 Another text reads, "Make friends with unjust Mammon." - What does the Lord mean by that? Nothing else than that man should not miss any opportunity to do good to his neighbor. He only allows in the external sense, a public seizing of the goods of a rich man, if it would help many, or at least several needy, but only in the highest emergency.
 Further, we find a text where the Lord says: "Whatsoever ye do good to one of these poor in My name, ye have done to Me." This sentence is confirmed by the Lord in the presentation of the "most recent" or spiritual judgement, when He says to the elect: "I came naked, hungry, thirsty, sick, imprisoned, and without a roof or a shed, and you received Me, cared for Me, clothed Me, saturated Me and quenched My thirst"; and for the rejected ones, that they did not do so. The good ones apologized as if they never did it, and the wicked, as if they would have done so I He would have come to them. The Lord then clearly says:
 "Whatever you did or did not do to the poor in My name, you did to Me."
 From this text, the true charity is already quite clearly highlighted, and it will be shown who are therefore the real neighbor.
 But we want to look at a text. So this one reads: "If you prepare a banquet there will be no invitations for those who can repay you with a reciprocal party. You will not have a reward in heaven for that, for you have received such in the world. But if you invite the needy, lame, brash, in every way poor people, who cannot repay you, you will have your reward in heaven. So also lend your money to those who cannot repay you, so you will store up reward for the heavens. But if you lend your money to those who can repay you and with interest, then you have your reward here. If you give alms, then do so silently, and your right hand should not know what the left does. And your Father in Heaven, who sees in secret, will bless and reward you in heaven!"
 I mean, from these texts one can almost grab with the hands, who the Lord regard to be the actual neighbor. That's why we want to see what meaning it contains.
 Everywhere we see that the Lord only putting poor people over against the wealthy. Why? Nothing other than that the poor are designated and placed before the wealthy as the true neighbor of the Lord, and not rich over against rich and poor over against poor. The rich over against the rich can only consider themselves as neighbors if they unite for equally good, God-pleasing purposes. However, the poor are also one another's neighbors, if they also join together as much as possible in patience and in love for the Lord as well as brotherly among themselves.
 The first degree of charity thus always remains between the wealthy and the poor, and between the strong and the weak, and is in the same proportion as that between parents and children.
 But why should the poor to the wealthy, the weak to the strong, and the children to the parents be considered the closest of neighbors? For no other than the following simple reason than that the Lord, as the closest to every man, according to His own expression, preferably represents Himself in the poor and weak as in the children of this world. For He Himself speaks: "Whatsoever ye do to the poor, ye have done to Me!" - If you do not always have Me personally in your midst, then you will always have the poor (as the Lord wanted to say)as My perfect representatives among you.
 So the Lord also says of a child: "He who receives such a child in My Name will receive Me."
 From all this, however, it is clear that men have more or less to consider each other according to their degree of "neighbor," the more or less they are filled with the Spirit of the Lord. But the Lord does not give his Spirit to the rich of the world, but only to the poor, the weak and the secular. The poor man is thereby more and more filled with the Spirit of the Lord, because he is poor, for poverty is a major part of the Spirit of the Lord.
 Those who are poor, resemble the Lord in their poverty, while the rich cannot. They do not know the Lord. But He knows the poor. Therefore the poor should be the neighbor to the rich, to which they, the rich, must come if they want to approach the Lord; for the rich cannot possibly regard themselves as the neighbor of the Lord. The Lord Himself has shown the infinite gap between Him and them in the story of the rich glutton. Only the poor Lazarus He places in the bosom of Abraham, so as to be close to Him, the Lord.
 Thus, even at the event of the rich youth, the Lord showed who should be his neighbor before he could come again to the Lord and follow him. And everywhere the Lord represents the poor as well as the children as one's neighbor, or even as His formal representatives. These are to be loved by the wealthy as well as they do themselves, but those of their kind, they should not. For that is why the Lord said that this commandment of charity is equal to the first, with which He would say nothing other than: What you do to the poor, you do to Me!
 But that the rich should not consider each other as neighbour, is evident from what the Lord says, that the rich should not invite the rich as their guests and lend their money to the rich, as well as from the fact that He did not command the rich youth to distribute his goods among the rich, but among the poor.
 But if some rich man wants to say: My closest neighbors are my children, I say: By no means! For the Lord took only one poor child, who begged on the way, and said, "He who receives such a child in My name, he will receive Me." The Lord never had anything to do with children of the rich.
 For that reason, when the king cares anxiously for his children, he commits a very strong sin against charity. The rich man cares best for his children by caring for a well-pleasing education, and not saving his fortune for his children, but giving the greater part of it to the poor. If he does that, the Lord will take his children and will lead them on the best way. If he does not do that, the Lord turns His face away from them, withdraws His hands, and leaves already their tenderest youths to the hands of the world, that is, the hands of the devil, and they become worldly children, worldly men, saying as much as, being devils themselves.
 If you knew how down to the lowest, third degree of hell all family capital and especially the inalienable inheritance are cursed by the Lord in the most terrible way, you would be frozen in terror and fear and your hearts would become petrified like a diamond!
 Hence all the rich, wherever they may be, should heed this as much as possible, avert their hearts as much as possible from their riches, and thus, with the riches, do as much good as possible, if they want to escape eternal inferno. For on the other side there is a twofold melancholy, a vast, gloomy place, from which only inconceivably narrow paths lead, on which the wanderers fare not much better than the camel facing the eye of the needle. But there is also an eternal hellish condition from which, as far as I know, there are no paths yet. So let the rich, as well as anyone who possesses so much that he can still do something for the poor, take heed. But from this it is now shown what the true charity consists of. Such it is also taught and practiced here in the sun. But how this happens we will examine in more detail later.
CHAPTER 105 Practical instruction about charity of the students in the hereafter
 You know that nowhere is anything to be done with merely theoretical knowledge and belief. What good is it for someone to plague his head with a thousand theories? What good is it for somebody if he considers everything to be true, what is written in the book of life? All this benefits one just as if someone had literally appropriated all musical theories and had also come to the conclusion that, if he were to make use of theories in practice, he would seriously produce the most eminent compositions, or at least become a virtuoso on one or the other instrument. Question: Will he be able to compose any piece of some value by any of these fundamental theoretic skills without the least practical skill? Or will he be able to either sing only the least part of a composition par excellence or perform it on a musical instrument? Certainly not, because without practical exercises, no theory is of any use.
 It is the same as if there were some foolish father who, while caring for his child and training his mind, yet always keep his feet bound together. Question: Will the child be able to walk, even though he saw others do it and would have learned all feet and foot movements theoretically from a Spanish dance master? The first step he would dare will turn out to be so uncertain, that this only theoretically educated child will immediately lie on the ground.
 It is thus more than clear that knowledge only, without practice, is useless! For it is a burning chandelier in an empty hall, the light which burns on its own and benefits no one. Accordingly, the actual exercise of what one has recognized and knows is infallibly the main focus. Since action in the realm of the purest spirits is always a matter of action, and the activity of charity is the chief principle of all spiritual activity, this commandment of charity here is taught more practically than theoretically.
 But how? These, as you see, grown-up students are taken with on all sorts of missions by the more accomplished spirits, and especially the newcomers from the earth must learn to distinguish the true neighbor, the less neighbor, and then the far-off. They must recognize how they have to behave towards their neighbors, their neighbors and the distant ones.
 As you know, the sense of pity of the youth is greater than that of the fixed manhood. Therefore it also happens that these disciples receive everything they encounter with great sympathy and compassion.
 They immediately want to push everybody into heaven, because they do not yet know from experience that heaven grants only blessedness to the closest neighbors, but that the lesser neighbors and far-off ones are a greater, even the greatest trouble. On these occasions, they first fully realize how true charity consists in giving each being his freedom and grant him his own love.
 For if you want to do something to someone other than what his love requires, you have not shown him any love service. If one asks his neighbor for a robe, and the neighbor gives him a loaf of bread instead, will the petitioner be satisfied with that? Certainly not, because he only asked for the robe, but not for the bread.
 If someone goes into a house and asks for a bride and they give him a basket of salt instead of the bride, will he be satisfied with that? And if somebody wants to make his way to a place to the north where he has a business, but a friend has his wagon harnessed, take the businessman who wants to go north, and drive south with him, he will be helped?
 Therefore, before they can bring their charity into practical use, the spirits must first learn to exactly discern the love of the spirits being brought on their way. When they have discerned this love, so also must be acted according to this love.
 He who wants to go to hell must have his escort there, for so is his love, without which there is no life for him. And whoever wants to go to heaven must be given the guidance that, purified in the righteous ways, he can then reach heaven fully qualified and there he can exist as a truly sanctified citizen.
 But it is not enough to bring all spirits into one and the same heaven, but heaven must correspond to the love of the spirit to the atom, for every other heaven will not be tolerated by a heavenly citizen, and he will suffer in it, like a fish in the air.
 For every man's love is the life element peculiar to him. If he does not find this, his life will soon be over. Therefore, charity in the realm of pure spirits must be thoroughly and properly purified and formed
before these spirits are truly able to receive the newcomers, as well as to bring those who have long been in the spiritual realm, into the truly blissful and living order of God.
 The education and purification of this charity is therefore to explore and to recognize the mode of love in the spirits, and then to recognize and understand the ways and how these spirits are to be led into the Divine order.
 No spirit may ever be violated. His free will, together with his knowledge, determines the way, and the love of the spirit determines the style and manner in which he is to be guided.
 When the spirits first arrive at the place of their congenial love and behave malevolently there, then it is time to interfere - but again only according to the nature of their wickedness.
 And see, in everything concerning charity, our students are taught in the most practical way. Once they have acquired a skill, they receive the ordination of perfection. They are then, for a fixed period of time, given to the people living on the earth as guardian spirits, mostly for the purpose of practicing the true patience of the Lord on this foundation. You would scarcely believe how difficult it is for such a heavenly spirit to be so condescending with the stubborn people of this earth, that they never realize that they are accompanied by such a guardianship in every way and are guided according to their love.
 Indeed, it is no trivial matter, if one is equipped with all might and power and may not call fire from heaven as a beginner, but must constantly watch, being conscious of his power and might, how the person entrusted to him, is engaged in all sorts of filth of the world, forgetting the Lord more and more.
 A most mischievous, utterly naughty little girl is like the highest heaven compared to the task of a guardian spirit at the beginning of his mission. How many tears must they shed, for the extent of their influence may exist only in the softest whisper into the conscience, or at most on extraordinary occasions, the prevention of certain calamities inflicted by hell upon the earthly mortals. In everything else, they may not interfere.
 But just imagine for a bit the often bitter lot of a so-called tutor or teacher, if he gets quite rough and playful children to educate. Is not job of a woodcutter better? Sure, because the wood can be felled and split according to the will of the woodcutter, but the rude child mocks the will of his master. But this condition is barely a shadow against that of a guardian spirit whose person is either a miser, a thief, a robber, a murderer, a gambler, a whore, and an adulterer. The guardian spirit must always passively observe such atrocities and must not counteract with all his might in the least anticipatory manner. And if anticipation is permitted on some occasions, it must nevertheless be so cleverly applied that the protégé is not in the slightest hindered in the sphere of freedom of his will, but at most only in the actual execution of it.
 See, this is the second practical business in which our holy students must practice in charity, and especially in the patience of the Lord. But what happens to them after this exercise in patience, will be shown next.
(The Spiritual Sun vol. 2)
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